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An employer’s illegal pay practices resulted in $250,000 in wage and damage claims by the US Department of Labor.  The Oak Texas Bar LLC/Oak Texas Bar & Grill LLC paid servers and bartenders tips only.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer violated federal minimum wage obligations by not paying servers and bartenders a cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour. The restaurant allowed employees to work for tips only, which failed to meet the federal minimum wage requirements. Investigators also found that the employer failed to pay overtime pay to wait staff. In addition, the investigation determined the employer paid cooks straight time for all hours worked.

Back wages recovered: $250,599 in owed back wages and liquidated damages.  Number of workers affected: 36.

“By law, employers who claim a tip credit must make sure their employees earn at least the federal minimum wage, and that all hours – including hours worked at a different location – be counted when calculating overtime pay,” explained Wage and Hour District Director Cindy Cantu Flores in McAllen, Texas. “Low wage workers depend on every dollar they earn to make ends meet, and employers must pay them full wages or face the costly consequences of violations.”

Link to Dept. of Labor article.

Article shared by Employment and Litigation Attorney, Casey Erick.


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Casey Erick is a Shareholder and focuses on Commercial Litigation and Employment Law. He has represented clients in both litigation and transactional matters that span across commercial law, labor and employment, real estate, consumer protection, and general litigation including, but not limited to breach of contract, corporate trade secret theft, tortious interference, defamation, personal injury, fraud, and various other kinds of civil litigation. He has represented high-profile clients as well as defended against high-profile national and global entities in matters related to commercial litigation, defamation, privacy, negligence, the Stored Communications Act, the Texas Harmful Access by Computer Act, Texas identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Casey is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law.