La Nopaleras Ordered To Pay Back-Wages

Published On: Oct 03 2011 04:16:55 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 18 2011 02:35:59 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The owners of two local Mexican restaurants have been ordered to pay nearly $1 million because they broke federal labor laws by not paying employees properly.

The U.S. Department of Labor sued the owners of the La Nopalera restaurants on Philips Highway and Beach Boulevard.

The Labor Department says kitchen employees weren't given overtime pay.

Officials say employees who received tips got their tips plus a paycheck, but were required to sign and return their paychecks to the restaurant.

As a result, it appeared the owners were paying wages, but workers were only allowed to keep their tips, officials said.

A total of 30 employees will get $584,000 in back wages, plus $350,000 in damages.

The restaurants will be allowed to make the payments over 13 months.

Other La Nopalera restaurants were not part of the federal labor investigation.