US Labor Department investigation finds ThunderCloud Subs owes nearly $128K in back wages, damages to Austin restaurant workers
Employers: Cumulus Inc.
Site: Several locations in Austin, Texas
Investigation Findings: A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found Cumulus Inc. and ThunderCloud Inc., each doing business as ThunderCloud Subs, violated the overtime, minimum wage and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigations of several of the restaurant’s locations by the division’s Austin District Office revealed the employers:
- Failed to pay employees for all the hours that they worked. ThunderCloud allowed employees to work off the clock but paid only for scheduled hours, not hours actually worked.
- Failed to pay employees time and one-half for overtime hours worked, as required by law.
- Failed to pay overtime to several managers who did not meet the requirements for any exemption from overtime.
- Failed to keep accurate records of weekly hours worked by nonexempt employees.
Resolution: Cumulus Inc. paid $83,617 in back wages and liquidated damages to 324 workers, and ThunderCloud Inc. paid $44,250 in back wages and liquidated damages to 229 employees.
Quote: “Employers like ThunderCloud Subs have a responsibility to know and follow the law,” said Betty Campbell, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The restaurant industry employs some of the most vulnerable workers we see, who are often afraid to complain when their employers do not pay them the wages they have earned. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to vigorously enforce the law, and educate employers and employees to ensure proper wages are paid. Companies who violate the law must not gain a competitive advantage over employers that play by the rules.”
Background: The Cumulus Inc. and Thundercloud Inc. enterprises operate 30 restaurant locations and combined employ approximately 480 people.
Information: For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Austin District Office at 512- 236-2560. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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