Austin, Texas, prides itself on weirdness and more than a touch of outlaw culture. Yesterday, the Department of Labor issued a public service bulletin on how that libertarian bent had fostered a crime wave within the city’s restaurant industry.
Nearly every establishment checked for compliance with the federal government’s wage and hour rules between October 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, had broken the laws, DOL said in a statement. In more precise terms, 95% of the places had violated the regulations, resulting in 500 employees being back-paid $330,000, or an average of $660 each.
And the past year was an improvement over the year before, when 98% of the checked restaurants were caught in the act, DOL noted.
It apparently issued a statement because Austin is an extreme case. But the Department’s Wage and Hour Division was quick to point out, “Findings like these are all-too-common in restaurants across the nation.”
Among the most common violations this year, according to DOL, were miscalculating wages for overtime, pooling tips for kitchen workers, and docking employees for walkouts, credit card processing fees, breakages and shifts coming up short.
In particular, it noted “significant child labor violations,” like allowing minors to operate or clean slicers and mixers.