Five Mississippi Wingstop locations owned by rapper Rick Ross’ family will have to pay over $100,000 in fines for multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The US Department of Labor ordered Boss Wings Enterprises LLC to pay $114,427 in back wages, liquidated damages and civil penalties. The labor department said the operator of some of the multinational chain’s aviation-themed restaurants forced employees pay for their uniforms, safety training, background checks and cash register shortages.
Additionally, investigators also discovered that Boss Wings violated child labor regulations.
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Wingstop did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. Representatives for Boss Wings Enterprises LLC could not be reached for comment at time of publication.
According to officials, Boss Wings violated minimum wage violations because some employees’ average hourly rates fell below the $7.25 federal requirement after the franchisee deducted costs for minimum uniforms and cash register shortages.
Deductions for employee safety training and background checks also “illegally decreased the rate-of-pay in weeks when workers earned overtime, and led Boss Wings to pay overtime at lower rates than federal law requires,” according to the labor department.
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Investigators also discovered that in June 2021, a 15-year-old employee had worked past 10 pm several times, in direct violation of child labor work rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA), according to the labor department. It is illegal for 14- and 15-year-olds to work before 7 am or after 7 pm from June 1 through Labor Day.
Not only that, but Boss Wings also failed to keep a record of employee hours and wage deductions at the five locations.
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“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet,” Mississippi-based Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall said in a statement.
Wingstop is a Texas-based chain founded in 1994. It has more than 1,500 restaurants across the globe.
In 2016, it was reported that the Rick Ross’ family owned at least nine Wingstop locations. Just last year, Ross posted on Instagram that his son was gifted one of their locations as a 16th birthday present.