U.S. Department of Labor Investigations Find Overtime Wage and Child Labor Violations at 11 Central Florida Pizzerias
Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Flipper’s Pizza T. & B. Inc. – operating 11 Central Florida Flippers Pizzeria restaurants – has paid $27,425 in back wages to 70 employees for violating the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The employer also paid $1,810 in civil money penalties for a child labor violation.
WHD investigators found the employer paid overtime-eligible assistant managers flat weekly salaries, without regard to the number of hours that they actually worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but were not paid overtime in addition to those salaries.
Additional overtime violations resulted when the employer calculated overtime for tipped employees incorrectly, basing those rates on servers’ cash rates only. The law requires employers to pay tipped workers overtime at time-and-one-half of at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. WHD also found the employer employed a 17-year-old minor to operate a motor vehicle to make deliveries, a violation of FLSA child labor requirements. The employer also failed to maintain accurate payroll records.
“Businesses employing minors have a special responsibility to ensure the safety of these workers by not having them perform any duties deemed hazardous,” said Wage and Hour District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division staffs local offices and provides online resources to assist employers in complying with the law. We encourage all employers to take advantage of these free compliance assistance resources, and to reach out to us with any questions.”
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Florida Law, any employee who works more than 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to compensation for the excess hours, either by:
- Allowing or requiring the employee to take compensatory time off at the rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime (government employees only) or
- Receiving pay for overtime at the rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Our Orlando Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have seen employers cheat their employees out of overtime pay using some pretty slick techniques. While these complex and difficult-to-prove methods might be hard to spot, there are three major ways in which employers violate overtime laws:
- An employer may fail to pay overtime wages at the rate required by Florida law.
- An employer may misclassify an employee as exempt (also known as salaried) and not pay overtime when the employee should be properly classified as non-exempt and eligible for overtime pay.
- An employer may demand or allow an employee to work “off the clock” without pay, when the employer should actually be paying overtime wages.
If your employer has tried any of these methods on you, or you believe they might be doing something else to short you on overtime pay, our Orlando Unpaid Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help. We want to expose their unlawful behavior and make sure you are paid what is owed to you.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which enforces federal wage laws, lists these as top wage-theft industries:
- Nannies or Childcare
- IT Workers
- Oil and Gas Field Services
- Security Guard Services
- Call Centers
It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do. If you think your employer is cheating you out of your overtime pay or engaging in other wage theft, let us review your case.
If you regularly work more than 40 hours per week without getting any overtime pay, your employer owes you a large sum of money. You are legally entitled to collect all unpaid overtime from your employer. Our Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how to help you recover the money that rightfully belongs to you. Let us evaluate your situation and determine what course of legal action is best. While it may seem like an insurmountable task to make an FLSA complaint about your employer, it is important to remember that employers cannot retaliate against you for exposing FLSA violations.
We urge you to reach out to us today so that we can launch an investigation into your claim. We require no up-front fees and you will not owe us any money unless or until we recover compensation on your behalf. We can begin helping you right away.