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Restaurants' Servers Only Get Tips; Now, Owners Must Pay Up

Owners of a restaurant with locations in Concord and Statesville have to pay back wages to employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.   

 U.S. Department of Labor investigators say the owners of Charanda Mexican Grill and Cantina in Concord and Statesville did not pay their servers any wages. They were paid in tips only.

Federal regulations require employers who claim tips as payment for wages to also pay their employees $2.13 an hour. That hourly wage and the tips have to add up to the hourly minimum wage of $7.25. If it does not, the employer has to make up the difference, which Charnda’s owners did not do.

Federal investigators also found that cooks at the restaurant who worked 60 hours a week were not paid overtime. Charanda’s owners were required to pay 13 workers $104,000 in minimum wage and overtime back pay.

Labor department officials say these types of violations are not uncommon in the restaurant industry.