On March 3, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release regarding its enforcement initiative in the hospitality/restaurant industry in “college towns” stating that many companies are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) wage and hour laws. The DOL has collected almost $100,000 for workers who were not paid properly.
During the investigation, the DOL found that because hospitality jobs are likely filled by students, temporary, or foreign workers who are often unfamiliar with wage laws. Additionally, it found that language barriers, fear of retaliation, and fears of immigration status can cause these individuals to not exercise their rights allowing companies to take advantage of them.
Some of the violations found by the DOL include: