FRANKLIN, TN After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant – based in Franklin, Tennessee – has paid $179,878 in back wages to 40 employees to resolve minimum wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant violated the FLSA when the employer required servers to pay $7 to $10 per shift into a tip pool that the restaurant retained to pay the hourly rates of non-tipped workers. The FLSA does not allow employers to keep servers’ tips. WHD also found that the employer retained the credit card tips hosts earned on carryout and to-go orders, resulting in additional FLSA minimum wage violations. Garcia’s failure to record which of the servers paid into the tip pool, how much they provided and on when they did so also resulted in recordkeeping violations.

“The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they have earned, and that employers clearly understand their responsibilities,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville, Tennessee. “The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices and to confirm that workers are being paid as the law prescribes. We will continue to work to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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