A New Hampshire restaurant neglected the rules, and their employees lost thousands in tips as managers dipped into the tip pool. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Labor caught on and gave the workers $62,000 in compensation.
Restaurant Employees Rights Violated With Joined Tip Pool
The restaurant employees of Dos Amigos Burritos based in Concord, New Hampshire, missed out on thousands from their tip pool. Turns out, managers were somehow included in the payments, despite the Wage and Hour Division’s new rules. The U.S. Department of Labor gave 39 workers their lost $61,788 in tips and compensation. “Tipped workers in the food services industry rely on their hard-earned tips to make ends meet. Restaurant employers must understand that keeping workers’ tips or diverting a portion of these tips to managers or supervisors in a tip pool is illegal,” Steven McKinney, the division’s district director in Manchester, New Hampshire, said in a news release. Just last year, the department said managers and supervisors are prohibited from taking the tips received by employees and from tip pools.
The owner of the restaurant Dos Amigos, Joel Harris said that managers of the place also work in the kitchen, on the cash register, as well as at the bar. That’s why he thought they should be included in the tip pool like other employees. Previously, he had no idea about the new rules from the department. McKinney stated that employers should contact the department regarding any questions about employees and their tips. “To avoid costly mistakes,” he said, “like those found in this investigation, employers should contact us to discuss their responsibilities.” Now, Harris corrected the tip pool rules at Dos Amigos.
More Issues Regarding Managers And Employer
“We love our staff, we appreciate their hard work, and in an ever-changing world of rules and regulations, we are humans that make mistakes,” Harris wrote in a statement regarding his employees. “We have righted the wrong, and are using this as a learning experience to continue to better ourselves. We appreciate your support of our incredible staff and we appreciate you, our customers.” Unfortunately, it’s not the only issue the department found in Dos Amigos. After taking a proper investigation, the division learned that three 15-year-old minors worked in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) child labor hours restrictions at Dos Amigos Burritos in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The restaurant boss and management let them work more than five hours on a school day. Despite being under 16 years old, they also worked until 10 p.m.
The FLSA doesn’t allow teenagers under 16 to work in non-agricultural occupations and outside of school hours for more than three hours on a school day. When it comes to days free of education, they work up to eight hours. In addition, they can’t take more than 18 hours in school weeks or 40 hours in non-school weeks. Also, minors are prohibited to come to work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day is the only exception to the rule.
Based on the violation, the employer paid $2,073 in civil money penalties according to the child labor violations.