Dallas, TX

Hard Eight BBQ Failed to Pay Employees $867K in Tips and Overtime Wages

Larry Lease

Hard Eight BBQ is a popular family-owned Dallas restaurant. According to Dallas News, they made some alleged illegal pay practices and failed to pay employees over $867,000 in tips and overtime pay. The Department of Labor has initiated an investigation.

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Department of Labor says the barbeque chain paid $867,572 in owed tips and overtime to 910 workers at five restaurants.Jessica Tan/Unsplash

The restaurant has five locations throughout the Dallas Fort-Worth area. According to the Department of Labor, these illegal practices took part at five Hard Eight locations between June 2019 and April 2021. The company cooperated and gave back pay to the employees.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers, managers or supervisors are not allowed to keep tips the workers receive for any purposes. Hard Eight Chief Operating Officer Matt Perry said it was just a matter of misunderstanding the law. NBC 5 reports that Perry said they were doing right including the managers in the tip share. The company has increased managers salaries to make up for the lost tips.

Dallas News reports that 910 employees are owed funds, but 219 have been identified and paid.The DOL is locating the remaining employees. Wage and Hour District Director Jesus A. Valdez told NBC 5 that businesses should work to avoid violations as they struggle to find employees to keep operating, as they risk to find it harder to retain and recruit workers. It was reported by NBC 5 that Hard Eight BBQ was first contacted in 2020 about the investigation and that an audit revealed some red flags in their tip share program. Hard Eight BBQ is now working with the Department of Labor to ensure they are fully compliant with the law.

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Dallas, TX
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