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Nashville restaurant ordered to pay $83K for back wage, child labor violations

Posted: 2:49 PM, Aug 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-09 12:41:37-04
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville restaurant is paying almost $63,000 in back wages and damages to 56 employees as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Wages and Hour Division found that Las Maracas violated minimum wage, overtime, and record keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer will also pay $20,232 in civil penalties for breaking child labor laws.

The Department of Labor said Las Maracas in Nashville and Madison paid employees a weekly flat amount regardless of number of hours worked. Both locations are owned by Daphne Smith.

Smith is accused of failing to maintain accurate records of hours employees worked and amounts of cash payments made to employees. Some Las Maracas employees worked entirely in cash payments, but the employer did not keep any records of it.

Las Maracas was cited for violating child labor laws by allowing a 15-year-old to work more than eight hours a day while school is in session. The federal limit is three hours a day. The restaurant is also accused of allowing another minor to work 57 to 67 hours a week while school was in session, surpassing the federal legal limit of 18 hours per work week.

“Our work keeps children safe on the job, ensures that employees are paid what they have legally earned, and creates a level playing field for employers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nettie Lewis. “This employer failed to come into compliance after a previous investigation, and now faces costly damages and fines. We encourage all employers to review their employment obligations and to contact us for compliance assistance so they can avoid violations like those found in this case.”