Tennessee restaurant operators ordered to pay $220,000 in back wages and damages

Woodlands restaurant

The operators of Nashville, Tennessee-based restaurant Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine have been ordered to pay $220,000 (£173,557) in back wages and liquidated damages to 31 employees.

The action follows an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which uncovered violations of the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found that food prep workers, cooks and dishwashers had been paid flat salaries by Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine, without regard to the number of hours actually worked. This meant that the employees were paid less than the minimum wage of $7.25 (£5.72) per hour, as they worked approximately 60 hours per week.

In addition, the restaurant failed to pay the required overtime to employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, and neglected to keep the required payroll records.

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Nettie Lewis, Nashville district director at the WHD, said: “The division provides a wide variety of tools for employers to learn about these requirements, and encourages them to reach out to us for assistance so that violations can be avoided.”

The operators of Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.