US Dept. of Labor finds Florida chain with Estero restaurant denied workers overtime pay

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A federal investigation of a Florida restaurant chain with a location in Estero found that the operator denied 58 workers their full overtime wages and recovered $18,705 in back wages and liquidated damages for the affected employees.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division say they determined that Restaurant Investment at Bonita LLC—the operator of three Divieto Ristorante locations in Estero, Doral and Aventura—failed to pay the additional overtime premium required at half of the applicable minimum wage or regular rate when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week. The employer’s actions violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The division also found the employer allowed two 15-year-old employees to work after 10 p.m. on non-school days, a violation of FLSA work hour standards for workers under the age of 16. The department assessed the employer a $1,382 civil money penalty to address the child labor violation.

“Denying workers their legally earned wages hinders their ability to provide for themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Office Director Nicolas Ratmiroff in Tampa. “As employers find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the workers they need, those who shortchange wages and take advantage of their employees may struggle to find the staff to support their businesses.”

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