Restaurant News & Reviews

This four-star restaurant shorted the pay of 15 employees

A seafood and steak restaurant in Naples paid $35,942 in back pay and damages after it got caught stealing labor by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

The vox populi, as stated by rating sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare and Zomato, slots surf and turf restaurant Aqua between three and four stars. But Aqua had a little free labor help attaining those ratings.

Wage and Hour Division “investigators determined the restaurant paid 15 employees at straight-time rates regardless of the number of hours they worked, failing to pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek,” the Department of Labor said in a release. “Additionally, the restaurant paid some employees off the books and failed to record hours for another employee, resulting in recordkeeping violations.”

Despite the extra labor, Aqua’s last two routine inspections by state Department of Business and Regulation inspectors, both in 2017, had enough violations to require a callback re-inspection the next day.

Aqua passed its most recent inspection, on Dec. 28, 2017, though that one was ignited by a complaint.