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Kern County restaurant chain ordered to pay $200K in back wages by US Department of Labor

La Fonda Taquería y Mariscos also assessed $23K in penalties for violating overtime requirements
La Fonda Taquería y Mariscos
Posted at 11:15 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 22:45:26-04

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — After an investigation into La Fonda Taquería y Mariscos’ payroll practices, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division ordered the Kern County restaurant chain to pay $200,682 in back wages to 49 employees, according to a press release.

Investigators found after a review that La Fonda paid workers at straight-time hourly rates regardless of the number of hours they worked each workweek, according to the Wage and Hour Division.

The practice is in violation of Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime rules which requires that workers be paid overtime wages for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. The employer also failed to maintain complete time and payroll records, also a violation of the FLSA.

The agency also assessed $23,265 in fines to address the willful nature of the violations, according to the Wage and Hour Division.

“Restaurant industry workers are among the lowest-paid essential employees in our nation and are often unaware of their most basic rights,” said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Patricia Canites in statement. “Violations like these are all too common and the U.S. Department of Labor is committed to using every enforcement tool available to achieve compliance from employers who willfully violate the law, hurt workers and their families, and take an unlawful advantage of their competitors that abide by the law.”

La Fonda Taquería y Mariscos has restaurants in Shafter and Wasco, and two in Bakersfield.