A Texas barbecue chain owes nearly $900,000 in unpaid tips and overtime to employees for a “misunderstanding” of labor laws
The Hard Eight barbecue chain failed to pay $867,000 in tip and overtime to employees over nearly two years.
The Ministry of Defense reported the news after an investigation.
The chain told a local outlet that it immediately changed its practices after learning about the rules.
The US Department of Labor reported Thursday that a Texas barbecue chain owes nearly $900,000 in unpaid tips and overtime to its employees in what it described as a misunderstanding of labor laws.
The Department of Labor discovered that the Roanoke chain in Hard Eight had failed to distribute $867,000 to 910 employees across its five branch restaurants.
The report stated that the company failed to pay employee gratuities in full. She added that Roanoke Hard Eight then shared withheld advice among the managers, who were not paid for their correct hours and only paid half the price of overtime.
In the statement released by the Labor Department on Thursday, Director of the Wages and Hours District, Jesus A. Valdez, “Roanoke Hard Eight has broken the law by including managers in their tip pool. In doing so, the employer has deprived tip workers of some of their tips and appropriate overtime pay managers.”
The Fair Wages and Standards Act prohibits employers, managers, and supervisors from withholding tips received by workers they supervise.
Hard Eight and the Department of Labor did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment outside of normal business hours.
According to Valdez in the report, the damage amounted to nearly $1,000 in unpaid tips and overtime per employee, an error that would damage the restaurant’s future credibility.
“At a time when companies struggle to find people to do the work required to continue operating, employers would be wise to avoid abuse or risk finding it more difficult to retain and hire workers who could choose to look for jobs where they would receive all of their wages owed,” he continued. .
Matt Perry, chief operating officer of Hard Eight, told NBC 5 Friday afternoon that the company was informed of the 2020 investigation and its actions regarding misunderstanding the legislation.
In a statement emailed to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, restaurant CEO Katie Gotsch said: “At the time, our floor managers, who are deeply involved in the guest’s hands-on experience, were included in the Tips Sharing Program.”
“We learned of the new rules during a Department of Labor review and immediately changed our practices. We compensated all affected hourly employees and ex-employees. We also gave our floor managers a pay raise,” she added.
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