As part of an ongoing restaurant industry enforcement initiative, the Department of Labor recently levied a total of $1,307,808.00 in fines to Massachusetts area restaurants for various Fair Labor Standards Act violations.
Violations cited by the DOL included failure to properly pay overtime (not paying overtime at all, not accounting for work performed in multiple locations, or incorrect overtime for tipped employees), illegal wage deductions, failure to accurately track employee time , and independent contractor misclassification.
Restaurants throughout Massachusetts were fined for the violations noted above and the DOL indicates that it intends to expand the scope of its efforts to other states. If it was not clear to employers when the DOL launched its smart phone application so that employees could independently keep track of their hours, it should be clear now: the risks posed by non-compliance with the FLSA are not worthwhile. Employers with policies out of line with the FLSA standards for wages, record keeping , or overtime need to make their best effort to move towards compliance, regardless of what industry standard or practice may have been in years past.