Lowcountry restaurants cited for violating labor laws, must repay $1.2M in back wages

An investigation by the Department of Labor finds that 13 restaurants in the South Carolina Lowcountry are in violation of labor laws. Of the 13, two are La Hacienda locations in Bluffton and in Hilton Head Island. Those violations include not paying minimum wage or overtime. Employers owe more than 100 employees $1.2M in back wages and damages.

“Our investigation of these 13 Charleston-area restaurants found many low-wage employees working long hours without any overtime compensation and, at times, earning wages far below the federal minimum wage. Labor violations like these are unfortunately all too common in the restaurant industry,” said Jamie Benefiel, director of the division’s Columbia office. “The Wage and Hour Division is resolute in its commitment to increasing compliance in this industry. Our investigators continue to make unannounced visits at restaurants throughout South Carolina and assess liquidated damages – where appropriate – to remedy widespread labor violations and ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers.”


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