Barton G. Inc., operator of three Miami restaurants, has agreed to pay $28,027 in back wages to 99 employees for violations of minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) uncovered the violations at Prelude By Barton G., The Villa By Barton G., and Barton G. - The Restaurant.
After reviewing payroll records and conducting employee interviews, WHD investigators determined that Barton G. failed to pay tip-earning employees such as servers and bartenders for all hours worked. Many employees were made to rely primarily on tips and earned wages that fell below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, WHD found.
Barton G. also reportedly failed to pay overtime to tipped employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week and failed to maintain accurate payroll records. In one of the restaurants, servers were paid a percentage of their sales, which is a commission and not a tip, WHD said.
“People visit fine dining establishments to enjoy great cuisine, hospitality and luxury services, and yet we find many low-wage workers of fine dining restaurants exposed to unjust treatment and wage violations,” said Will Garnitz, director of WHD’s Miami District Office. “Tipped employees deserve their full pay, and the Labor Department is committed to ensuring that all employees receive the pay due them under federal labor laws.”
In addition to paying back wages, Barton G. agreed to change its payroll system to catch employees whose wages fall below the minimum wage and train its payroll department to properly calculate overtime for tipped employees.