The US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has asked East on the West Side, a company operating as Ambrosia Japanese Restaurant in Key West, Florida, to pay $72,425 in back wages and liquidated damages to 15 employees.

According to the WHD, the company violated overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The investigators noted that East on the West Side hired the 15 employees through staffing agency Phoenix ADB Services and paid only straight-time rates for all the hours worked.

As per the investigation, the company failed to pay the employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.

In addition, the restaurant firm failed to maintain time and payroll records and to display the required federal minimum wage poster, which is a violation of the recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA.

US DOL WHD Miami district director Tony Pham said: “Employers are responsible for ensuring they pay employees properly for all the hours that they work whether they are hired directly by the company or through a staffing agency.

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"We encourage employers that employ minors to review child labour laws, and to contact us for any assistance they need."

“We encourage employers to contact us with any questions they may have, and to use the variety of tools we offer to help them understand their obligations and to comply with the law. Violations like these can be avoided.”

Wage and Hour Division District director Daniel White said: “We encourage employers that employ minors to review child labour laws, and to contact us for any assistance they need.”

In another development, MorBury OC, the operator of Jimmy John’s Store 1151 restaurant in Orange City, Florida, has paid $2,218 in civil penalty for violating child labour provisions of the FLSA.

The company has also paid $367 in back wages to resolve payroll violations.

During an investigation, the WHD found that the company allowed a 16-year old minor employee to use a meat slicing machine.

The FLSA child labour requirements prohibit minors from involving in a hazardous occupation.

The WHD also found that the company failed to pay two employees required overtime, as well as keep accurate records of the number of hours employees worked.

It also failed to maintain copies of minor employees’ dates of birth resulting in recordkeeping violations.