Capitol Hill cafeteria workers to receive $1M in back wages

Capitol Hill cafeteria workers to receive $1M in back wages
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Hundreds of cafeteria workers on Capitol Hill will receive more than $1 million in back wages following a Labor Department investigation, the agency announced Tuesday.   

The Labor Department said Restaurant Associates and its subcontractor, Personnel Plus, will pay 674 workers about $1.1 million in back wages. 

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An investigation by the agency’s Wage and Hour Division found the two employers were improperly classifying workers – paying them for lower-paying jobs than they actually performed – and requiring employees to work prior to their scheduled starting times without compensation.

The company also failed to pay workers overtime at the proper rates or offer the required health and welfare benefits.

The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act, which applies to every contract over $2,500, requires contractors and subcontractors to observe minimum wage laws, as well as safety, health and welfare benefits, and maintain certain records.

“Employers given the opportunity to earn a profit by providing a service to the government at a cost to the tax payer have a legal obligation to follow the letter of the law, especially when it comes to paying their workers,” David Weil, the administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, said in a statement.

“Workers in the restaurant industry are among the lowest-paid workers in our economy. Most struggle to afford life’s basic expenses and pay their bills; they shouldn’t have to deal with paychecks that don’t accurately reflect their hard work and the wages to which they are legally entitled.”