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DOL scours restaurants for labor law violations

Agency confirms increased focus on restaurant workers

Foodservice corporations, beware: The Department of Labor (DOL) is on the hunt for labor law violations at restaurants across the country.

The agency’s Wage and Hour Division is cracking down on violations of overtime and minimum-wage requirements, as well as child labor laws, with investigators reviewing randomly selected restaurants’ employment records, time cards and other paperwork, and responding to foodservice employee complaints.

Alfredo Villoch, a community outreach specialist with the DOL, told the Athens Banner-Herald, a Georgia newspaper, that the investigations are part of the agency’s focus on making sure restaurants comply with labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The DOL reported at the end of October that, after several months of investigations, it found labor law violations at 26 Georgia Huddle House restaurants, where some employees were earning less than minimum wage or were working more hours than allowed for their ages.

Companies also should be aware that the DOL can show up unexpectedly to investigate labor law compliance.

“The (Wage and Hour Division) does not require an investigator to previously announce the scheduling of an investigation,” DOL Spokesperson Michael Wald told the Athens Banner-Herald. 

Ashley Post

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