Today, the AJC reported that a Georgia restaurant chain called "This Is It" has been ordered by the feds to provide 230 workers $104,000 in back pay and fined nearly $1,900 for letting minors work illegal hours.
The U.S. Department of Labor took legal action after investigating the restaurant and found violations of record keeping, overtime, and minimum wage laws which protect workers. Furthermore, it found the restaurant chain wrongly classified employees as "exempt" consequently failing to pay them overtime (time and a half their regular rates) for hours over forty in a work week as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Moreover, the restaurant chain did not pay workers minimum wage because it illegally deducted lunch breaks and uniform expenses. Additionally, underage workers were allowed to work restricted times. Finally, the company failed to maintain correct records of hours worked and money earned by the workers.
Unfortunately, Good Georgia Lawyer has seen that many businesses, especially the restaurant industry, make the mistake of committing numerous illegal and evasive business practices. This includes paying employees "under the table" without reporting them and denying them from overtime wages. This hurts businesses by exposing them to future liability, hurts the low-income worker who is especially vulnerable to being exploited, and ultimately further hinders our economy.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law which creates minimum wage, overtime wages, record keeping requirements, and laws concerning child labor. The FLSA protects both full and part time workers who work for private employers, state, local, and federal governments.
What We Recommend For Employers: It is advisable to seek a legal consultation so a lawyer can review your business operations and make sure you are in compliance with the law in order to avoid costly litigation. Additionally, hiring a payroll firm to help correctly compute wages and overtime compensation for workers is key.
What We Recommend For Employees: If you believe you are a victim of a wage and hour violation, we encourage you to come in for a legal consultation to protect your legal rights. Please review our law firm's practice area for different types of wage and hour abuses.
For an extensive listing of all Georgia employment laws, we encourage all to view the Georgia Department of Labor's website at this specific page.