Cary restaurant Los Très Magueyes has agreed to pay more than $145,000 in back pay to 13 employees.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage Division found that the restaurant violated overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the investigation, servers were paid $3.15 an but only for their first 40 hours of work each week. After that, they received only tips in compensation. They were also required to contribute $200 per week from their tips toward a tip "pool." The tip-sharing arrangement in this case was determined to be illegal because it included employees who did not receive tips.
Other employees, including kitchen staff, were paid fixed salaries each month without regard to the number of hours worked, which is against the law.
The restaurant also failed to keep accurate records of hours worked, wages paid and proof of dates of birth for workers under 18.
The law requires that any worker who receives tip be paid at least $2.13 per hour in direct wages, provided that amount plus tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If tips combined with wages do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.