A restaurant got caught cheating servers, busboys and cooks out of $88,000 in pay

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A Cooper City restaurant owes workers $88,074 after it got caught violating workers’ wallets multiple ways by ignoring federal pay laws, the Department of Labor announced Friday.

That back pay will go to eight servers, table bussers and cooks — $11,009.25 per employee — at South China Restaurant, 5550 S. Flamingo Rd.

Labor says an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division found South China paid those workers flat weekly or monthly salaries, no matter how many hours they worked. And they sometimes worked so many hours that the per hour rate was less than $7.25, violating federal minimum wage laws. When they worked more than 40 hours a week, South China didn’t come across with overtime pay.

“Wage and Hour Division also found South China Restaurant failed to record the number of hours worked by the cooks and did not post the required Fair Labor Standards Act poster to notify employees of their rights under the law, resulting in record-keeping violations,” Labor said.

Employers wanting to make sure they’re in compliance can visit Wage and Hour Division offices, call offices confidentially or check Fair Labor Standards Act compliance videos. To self-report violations without litigation, employers can go through the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program.

South China’s most recent state restaurant inspections were April 25 and 26. There were enough violations — 13 total, three High Priority — on April 25 that a re-inspection was required April 26. South China passed that.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.