U.S. Department Of Labor Says Hickory Restaurant Violated Federal Wage And Overtime Laws

HICKORY, N.C. (News Release) – Nara Japanese Restaurant LLC – a restaurant based in Hickory, North Carolina – has paid $28,779 in back wages to 20 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the employer violated minimum wage, overtime, and record keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD found Nara Japanese Restaurant LLC paid kitchen staff flat daily rates regardless the number of hours the employees actually worked. By doing so, the employer violated minimum wage requirements when those flat rates failed to cover all the employees’ hours at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. In addition, the employer made illegal credit-card fee deductions from servers’ tips that caused them to earn less than the minimum wage. The employer also failed to pay overtime when employees worked over 40 hours in a workweek, and violated the FLSA record keeping requirements by failing to maintain records of the number of hours employees worked each workweek.

“Employers must not ignore the requirements of federal labor laws,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to work to level the playing field so that employers who follow the rules don’t find themselves at an economic disadvantage to those who do not. We encourage all employers to reach out to us for guidance, and to use the wide variety of tools we provide to help them comply with the law and avoid violations like those found in this case.”

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, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.