According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees at a Jacksonville Mexican restaurant owe $118,000 in back wages and tips.
The Hour Division conducted an investigation and found that E & E Quezada Food Services Corp. operated the restaurant. This led to the operators being forced to rely solely on tips from customers.
According to the investigation, some servers, dishwashers, and cooks were not paid overtime wages for working more than 40 hours per week. According to federal law , overtime pay should not be less than 1.5 times the standard wage.
E & E Quezada Food Services Corp. owners did not return NBC News' Friday call for comment.
Serving in Florida is paid minimum $6.98 an hour, before tips. NBC affiliate WFLA reported that this would increase to $10.47 per hour if you add overtime wages.
Rosy's Mexican Restaurant made life harder for its employees by denying them a cash wage, forcing them to live off tips, and depriving other workers of overtime pay," Wildali De Jesus, Wage and Hour Division Director, Orlando, stated in a statement.
Investigators discovered that the employer didn't keep accurate shift and payroll records. According to the division, it also allowed a 15-year old employee to work after 7 p.m. on school night, violating federal work hours standards for workers below 16.
The investigation was initiated by investigators who learned about the employer's practice through the Employment education and outreach alliance. This hotline provides assistance to Spanish-speaking workers in their workplace problems and manages multistate hotlines.
The agency found that E & E Quezada Food Services Corp. owes $118,042 in back pay and liquidated damages totaling to 10 employees of Rosy's Mexican Restaurant.
De Jesus stated, "Violations such as those in this case can easily be avoided."