Following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation, Central Florida Bakery, based in Sanford, Florida, has paid $28,055 in back wages and liquidated damages to 18 employees for violating minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Investigators determined that Central Florida Bakery paid employees a fixed weekly salary that failed to cover all of the hours that employee worked at $7.25 per hour, a minimum wage violation under the FLSA. Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, it is important to note minimum wage varies by state and in New York it ranges from $10.40 to $13.00 per hour depending on size of employer and location. In New York, restaurants are allowed to use a “tip credit”, which means employers can pay tipped employees at a tipped minimum wage rate, ranging from$7.50 to $8.65. The minimum wage in New York is set to increase at the end of 2018.
The bakery also paid employees flat salaries without regard to the number of hours that they worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when these employees worked more than 40 hours per week and the bakery failed to pay them overtime wages in addition to their salaries. The FLSA requires employees be paid at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Additional overtime violations resulted when Central Florida Bakery failed to include earned bonuses in workers' rates when computing their overtime, resulting in rates lower than the law requires. The Department of Labor had conducted a previous investigation on Central Florida Bakery which also revealed overtime violations.
"Employers have the responsibility to pay employees all the wages they have legally earned," stated a representative from the Department of Labor. "We encourage employers to contact us with any questions they may have, and to use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them understand their obligations and to comply with the law."