Monday, November 15, 2004
The U.S. Labor Department has cracked down on Mexican restaurants in Tennessee, according to its district director Carol Merchant. Las Palmas in Nashville failed to pay overtime to 85 employees from March to October 2002, and has since paid over $130,000 in back wages. Las Palmas accountant Dennis Greeno said that the tradition in Mexico is to pay restaurant workers a flat rate for six days' work, and that even without time-and-a-half pay for overtime, all workers were paid more than minimum wage. The Las Palmas restaurant business started in 1990 with one location and has since grown to 12 locations with more than 400 employees. Las Palmas is not the only Mexican restaurant in the state under investigation.