El Rodeo, El Toreo restaurants ordered to pay $3 million in back wages and damages to workers
Violations happened from Jan. 29, 2012 to Jan. 25, 2015
ROANOKE, Va. – Six Roanoke area restaurants and their owners will have to pay $1.5 million in back wages, and an equal amount in liquidated damages, to 149 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation.
The defendants are El Rodeo-Electric Inc., El Rodeo-Orange Inc., Bravo Brandon Inc., Arellano Inc. - El Toreo, El Toreo-Thirlane Inc. El Rodeo-Wildwood Inc., and individual owners Elijio Arellano, Jesus Arellano, and Augustin Arellano.
El Rodeo's website lists three locations: 3280 Electric Road and 3518 Orange Avenue in Roanoke and 260 Wildwood Road in Salem.
El Toreo's website lists three locations: 6617 Thirlane Road, 3790 Peters Creek Road and 3133 Franklin Road, all in Roanoke.
The consent judgment rectifies federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations.
The Division’s investigation found from Jan. 29, 2012, to Jan. 25, 2015, the defendants willfully violated FLSA minimum wage and overtime provisions by only compensating servers through tips and not paying the federal minimum wage and one-and-one-half their regular rates of pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a work week.
The defendants also paid non-exempt kitchen staff – cooks, assistant cooks, and dishwashers – straight time for the overtime hours they worked. Investigators also found the defendants’ failed to keep and maintain accurate records of the hours employees worked, as required.
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