Delaware U.S. District Court approved a settlement with a Selbyville restaurant operator who will pay $300,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 16 workers – some of whom worked 75 hours or more a week for a flat salary. At the same time, the business kept no time records of the hours worked.
Following a U.S Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, the department filed a complaint alleging that APS Market & Grill LLC – a combined restaurant, grocery store, and butcher shop that operates under the name Taqueria La Sierra – violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The department determined that the employer paid some workers a flat salary regardless of their status and did not require clocking in or out.
The consent judgment approved by the U.S. District Court requires the employer and its owner to pay the back wages and liquidated damages and prohibits them from violating the wage and hour regulations in the future. In addition to paying back wages and damages, the employer was also assessed a $5,000 civil penalty for willful violations.
“For workers in the restaurant industry, basic labor rights like minimum wage and overtime are being denied, and hard-earned wages are out of reach,” said Wage and Hour District Director James Cain in Philadelphia. “The consent judgment will ensure that these workers receive all of the wages they legally earned and that Taqueria La Sierra is no longer gaining an unfair advantage over other restaurant employers in the area.”