US-based Mexican restaurant chain Taqueria Chapala Jalisco fined $208,642 in back pay


Texas-based Mexican restaurant chain Taqueria Chapala Jalisco is to award 69 employees $208,642 (£161,811.26) in back pay, after a US Department of Labor investigation found it had violated minimum wage, overtime and record keeping requirements across four of its operating sites.

The investigation, conducted by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), found that Taqueria Chapala Jalisco paid its staff a daily flat rate salary that did not take into account the number of hours employees worked. This resulted in the organisation violating overtime regulations included in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Kitchen and waiting staff were reported to have worked up to 60 hours a week without additional pay.

The investigation further found that, in some cases, employees worked so many hours a day that the daily wage rate failed to meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (£5.62) an hour. In addition, Taqueria Chapala Jalisco did not comply with the FLSA’s record keeping requirements because it failed to maintain time records for these employees.

Taqueria Chapala Jalisco cooperated with the WHD’s investigation and has now taken steps to comply with federal regulations moving forward.

Cynthia Ramos, district director, San Antonio at the Wage and Hour Division, said: “The US Department of Labor is committed to ensuring employees receive all the wages they have rightfully earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field. We encourage employers to reach out to us for assistance to ensure they are in compliance with the law.”