El Paso Mexican Grill ordered to pay back wages to 567 employees

By Megan Holmes

El Paso

El Paso Mexican Grill has been ordered to pay $654,366 in back wages to 567 employees of its Louisiana and Florida restaurants.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Monday that an investigation by its wage and hour division found violations at 23 restaurants. 

Juan J. Rodríguez, a department spokesman, said El Paso’s Lake Charles restaurant was not one of the affected locations.  

Rodriguez said El Paso employers violated minimum wage requirements when they subtracted costs for uniforms from workers’ pay, and also when they neglected to pay them for all of the hours they worked. 

El Paso also paid some kitchen staff flat salaries, without regard to the number of hours they worked, which resulted in overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a week but were not paid additional overtime, he said.

The company also violated overtime requirements when it paid tipped employees time-and-a-half of their direct cash wages for their overtime hours instead of basing their rates on the full minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.