Department of Labor Announces Stepped-up Wage and Hour Enforcement, Fines for Restaurant Industry, Following $250,000 Judgment Against an Illinois Restaurant Owner

March 30, 2011

An online employee attendance tracking tool could have prevented some of the issues, say experts at TrackSmart.com

Sunrise, FL (Vocus/PRWEB) March 28, 2011

Following on the heels of $240,000 in FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) violations and a $10,000 fine against a Decatur, Illinois restaurant owner, Department of Labor spokeswoman Rhonda Burke said that the department’s wage and hour division has stepped up its monitoring and enforcements efforts within the restaurant industry.

The fines and violations in the case of Chao v. El Matador Inc et al (2:2008cv02237), filed in the Seventh Circuit Court in the Central District of Illinois, resulted in part from the restaurant’s failure to maintain adequate employee time and pay records, according to the department. There were multiple locations, and the restaurant did not have a process in place for recording time worked and other aspects of pay, including time off, in each location.

The announcement comes on the heels of similar penalties and fines for other businesses, where multiple locations or inadequate employee record-keeping has led to violations.

“There is no excuse for an employer to disregard federal labor standards,” said Norma Cervi, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s district office in St. Louis, Mo. in a statement about the case on the DOL website. “The labor department takes seriously its responsibility to enforce the FLSA on behalf of vulnerable workers, and we will use all available tools, including litigation, to ensure workers receive wages that are rightfully theirs.”

“Using an online time and attendance tracking tool could have alerted management that some employees worked in both locations,” said TrackSmart.com Brand Evangelist, Helene Kopel. “That might have helped the restaurant stay on top of employee recordkeeping requirements , and avoid the violations.”

TrackSmart.com, the most recent addition to the HRdirect® line of employee recordkeeping and management tools, offers businesses a free or low-cost way to record employee data, and keep track of employee absences, personal data and other details from any Internet connected computer. “While it would not have solved the problem if employees did not use time clocks at both locations, it would have alerted company accountants that some employees worked in multiple locations,” said Kopel. “That might have been enough to put them on alert that work hours should come from both as well.”

About Us

TrackSmart.com, an online employee attendance tracking application, is the newest product from HRdirect. The “free and easy” basic version of TrackSmart.com allows small businesses to record employee attendance information and basic employee information for up to 20 employees.

Low-cost paid options allow premium members to track up to 100 employees, and provide more types of secure, online employee recordkeeping, making information and confidentiality compliance simple.

We continue to provide targeted employee attendance advice and information, based upon the types of absences and absence patterns, making it easy for small business owners and managers to address employee attendance problems quickly.

New customers can sign up at http://www.tracksmart.com. Those who have already registered for the free version can upgrade without losing any of the data they’ve entered so far.

About HRdirect

For more than 20 years, HRdirect has been known for its top-selling employee attendance tools, from time sheets to software. HRdirect is part of the Everglades Direct, Inc. family of brands, which also includes G.Neil®, Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, and ComplyRightTM, More than one million U.S. businesses turn to Everglades Direct brands for their human resource products and business compliance expertise. The offices are located in Sunrise, Florida.

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/3/prweb8246167.htm

Source: prweb

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