The Department of Labor (DOL) has forced a Domino’s Pizza franchise to pay employees back wages. The franchise, based in Melbourne, paid back wages of almost $400 thousand to over 400 employees who worked at its 19 locations in Palm Beach, Indian River, and Brevard counties. Domino’s Pizza has over 30 locations in Las Vegas.
The DOL investigation found the Domino’s Pizza franchise owner committed several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
1) Tip-earning employees, such as delivery drivers, were not paid for all of the hours they worked nor paid overtime.
2) Employees who worked at nontipped duties, such as cleaning, stocking, and cooking, were paid hourly wage rates as low as $5.15 as if they were tipped employees.
3) Employee wages were illegally deducted for the cost of uniforms; and 4) The franchise owner failed to record and designate hours worked as tipped or nontipped in order to pay employees correctly.
“Restaurants are notorious for not paying tipped and nontipped employees the proper wage,” stated Las Vegas Employment Law Attorney Andre Lagomarsino. “With the hundreds of restaurants in Las Vegas alone, businesses that commit this labor violation not only hurt the economy, they also decrease the amount of taxes available for needed federal, state, and city services.”
Under the FLSA, covered, nonexempt employees are to be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus 1.5 times their regular wage rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week or 8 hours per day. Tipped employees are required to be paid at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages provided that that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. When an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages does not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has an ongoing enforcement initiative in Florida as well as in other states to remedy widespread noncompliance in the restaurant industry.
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