U.S. Department of Labor files complaint against Defiance and Bellefontaine restaurants to recover more than $30,000 in back wages
DEFIANCE, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a legal action in federal district court in Columbus against Los Cabos Restaurant and company president Antonio Avalos, doing business in Defiance and Bellefontaine, for ongoing alleged violations of the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The department seeks to recover $30,396 in back wages for nine workers, plus an amount equal in liquidated damages.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation covering a two-year span beginning in January 2005, and found that the business failed to pay employees the federal minimum wage and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week, as required by the FLSA. The FLSA provides an exemption from both requirements for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain job duty and salary tests. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Effective July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage for covered, nonexempt employees rose to $5.85 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008 , and to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009 .
The Wage and Hour Division concluded 31,987 compliance actions and recovered more than $171 million in back wages for more than 246,000 employees in fiscal year 2006. Back-wage collections last year represent a 30 percent increase over back wages collected in fiscal 2001. The number of workers receiving back wages has increased by 14 percent since fiscal 2001.
For more information, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at (866) 4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov. Information about the current FLSA exemption can be found at www.dol.gov/fairpay.