Texas BBQ chain owed employees nearly $900,000 – KIRO 7 News Seattle

ROANOKE, Texas — A North Texas barbecue restaurant withheld about $867,000 in tips and overtime from more than 900 employees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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An investigation by the department’s wage and hour division determined that Roanoke, Texas-based Hard Eight BBQ failed to properly compensate its tip-earning employees. The investigation also determined that hourly managers were not receiving appropriate overtime pay, which is typically an hourly rate and a half, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

According to the WFAA, a total of $867,572 was withheld from 910 employees, but Hard Eight fully corrected the discrepancies in August 2021.

The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits an employer – or its managers or supervisors – from keeping tips that company workers receive for any purpose, “whether or not the employer claims credit for tip,” the TV channel reported.

Meanwhile, Dallas Wage and Hour District Manager Jesus A. Valdez confirmed to the WFAA that Roanoke Hard Eight broke the law by including managers in its tip pool.

“In doing so, the employer denied tip workers some of their tips and overtime wages to managers,” Valdez said. “As companies struggle to find people to do the work needed to keep them operating, employers would be wise to avoid violations or risk finding it even more difficult to retain and recruit workers who can choose to look for jobs where they will receive all their legitimate salaries. .”

The restaurant’s executive manager, Katie Gooch, said in a statement emailed to the Star-Telegram that Hard Eight BBQ corrected the issue in August 2021, noting that the adjustments were made after management learned of a change. labor legislation in 2019.

“At this time, our floor managers, who are deeply involved in the hands-on guest experience, were included in our tip-sharing program,” Gooch said in the emailed statement.

“We learned of the new rules during a Ministry of Labor review and IMMEDIATELY changed our practices. We have compensated ALL hourly and former employees affected. We have also provided a pay raise to our floor managers .

The restaurant also posted a video message on Facebook addressing the situation, the Star-Telegram reported.

The Department of Labor has confirmed that Hard Eight BBQ is 100% compliant after paying back wages and tips to their employees, WFAA reported.

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