Labor Department Investigation Finds Taziki’s Violated Overtime Rules
UPDATE – 2/12/18
Taziki’s Mediterranean Café founder Keith Richards told WBHM Monday the company paid the back wages it owed its employees. Richards’ comments came in response to a U.S. Department of Labor news release last week. The labor department outlined an investigation that found the company owed employees more than $135,000 for violating federal overtime rules.
Richards said the labor department brought the issue to the company’s attention last August. From there, Richards said, “we dropped what we were doing to make sure our employees were paid and taken care of.”
Since then, he said, Taziki’s has worked to ensure employees are paid overtime regardless of the location they work. According to the labor department, 26 employees worked at various Taziki’s restaurants more than 40 hours per week, but were not paid overtime. Instead, the company issued separate paychecks for each location.
Taziki’s has eight restaurants in the Birmingham area. The restaurant chain also has locations in Georgia and Virginia. Richards said his employees are the bedrock of the company, and that the company respects their hard work.
The U.S. Department of Labor Friday announced Taziki’s Mediterranean Café will pay $135,844 to employees after an investigation found the company violated overtime rules.
The restaurant chain failed to combine the hours individual employees worked at multiple locations to determine whether they were due overtime, according to the labor department’s investigation. The company instead issued the 26 employees involved multiple paychecks at each location, despite their combined hours exceeding 40 in a workweek.
Taziki’s also failed to pay workers for time spent traveling between restaurants, according to the labor department. “The resolution of this case puts these wages into the hands of those who earned them, and demonstrates how Department of Labor enforcement levels the playing field for law-abiding employers,” Kenneth Stripling, district director of the Wage and Hour Division said. “We encourage all employers to make use of the many tools our agency offers to help them understand their obligations and to avoid violations.”