US District court orders local restaurant to pay back wages
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has ordered Meers Store & Restaurant Inc. and owner Margaret Maranto to pay $335,687 in back wages and liquidated damages to 84 employees for willful violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The court also found the employer to be in violation of the FLSA's child labor provisions, and granted a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from violating any of the provisions of the FLSA in the future. A $42,190 civil money penalty has also been assessed.
WHD investigators found the company and Maranto failed to pay minimum wages to certain employees, failed to pay overtime compensation, and failed to comply with child labor provisions. WHD determined that the company and Maranto failed to pay wages to table bussers, most of them minors, who were forced to work for tips alone. When employees worked beyond 40 hours in a week, the defendants failed to pay overtime at time-and-one-half and instead compensated them at their regular rate of pay. The company also failed to keep required records.