Supermarket to pay $198K to employees after violating wage, OT laws

A supermarket in Tampa, Florida, must pay more than $198,000 to 17 employees. Photo: StockSnap

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida supermarket must pay $198,039 in back pay and liquidated damages to 17 employees after violating minimum wage and overtime rules, according to a news release Monday from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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El Grande Supermarket in Tampa was in violation of the wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Acts, the agency said in its release.

Each worker will receive an average of $11,649.35, the Miami Herald reported.

According to the Department of Labor, El Grande paid one employee a fixed salary without regard to the number of hours worked. It caused a minimum wage violation when the salary failed to cover the employee's hours worked at the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

El Grande also paid overtime-eligible employees straight time rates when they worked more than 40 hours per week, the agency said in its release.

Bookkeeping violations included failure to record cash payments made to workers, the department said.

"The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to ensure employees are being paid for all the hours that they work," Wage and Hour Division District Director James Schmidt said in the release. "We remain committed to ensuring that employers who comply with the law do not find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to those who do not. We provide a wide variety of educational materials to help employers understand their responsibilities, and we staff offices nationwide to assist employers with compliance questions."