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Restaurant dishes out nearly $100,000 in fines for Employee time clock record keeping violations.

Posted by Barry Rubin on 3/14/2016 to Tips and Resources
Restaurant dishes out nearly $100,000 in fines for Employee time clock record keeping violations.
Hibachi Buffet of Tampa, Florida failed to maintain records for hours worked to pay $97,462 to 12 employees.

Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division Tampa District Office found that Hibachi Buffet violated the overtime, minimum wage and record keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the employer required servers to work for tips, room and board only and did not pay kitchen employees overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a work week. Additionally, the employer failed to maintain records for all hours worked. Wage and Hour investigators have recently become more aggressive with record keeping fines, due in part to the numerous, easy to use, affordable
time and attendance applications on the market today.

There simply is no excuse for an employer to not keep accurate time clock records. Even more so for a restaurant who can integrate the time keeping system directly to the existing point of sale or order entry system.

Hibachi Buffet has agreed to future compliance with the FLSA and to pay 12 employees $48,731 in back wages plus an equal amount in liquidated damages for a total $97,462.

“Underpaying and improperly paying workers cheats them out of their hard-earned income and puts those responsible employers, who play by the rules, at a competitive disadvantage. We strongly encourage workers who may be in similar situations, where their employer is not paying overtime after 40 hours of work in a workweek or paying the correct minimum wage pay, to contact us with the knowledge that the information they share is kept confidential under the maximum extent of the law," said James Schmidt, the Wage and Hour Division's district director in Tampa.

For a fraction of this penalty, Hibachi Buffet could have been compliant and avoided the cost and stigma associated with a wage and hour audit.