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The Plaza Restaurant releases statement on U.S. Department of Labor investigation

The Ramos family, who own the The Plaza Restaurant chain, issued the following statement about a Labor Department investigation that uncovered minimum wage, overtime, and child labor violations by the business:

In light of the recent news coverage of our family business, The Plaza Restaurant & Bar, we would like to share more information about this issue with the community.

In December 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor informed us that they would be opening an investigation with our restaurant due to reports of systemic workplace violations.

These reported violations occurred at our Borger, Amarillo, Pampa, Lubbock and Dumas locations. They can be described as improper wage deductions for uniforms, failure to compensate salaried kitchen staff for overtime worked, and permitting employees under the age of 16 to work beyond limits set by federal labor provisions.

When we were informed by the Wage and Hour Division that there would be an investigation, we were alarmed at the nature of the reports and understood the severity of the situation at hand. We also recognized that we as business owners are responsible for any oversights and shortcomings that allowed these violations to transpire.

One of the values we hold as a family is to take responsibility for our own actions, and to correct the mistakes we make. During the course of the investigation, we worked diligently to identify the sources of these violations and took the proper measures to rectify the issues. And we did so with the guidance of the Department of Labor throughout their investigation.

The investigation covered 2017 and 2018 and came to a close in April 2019. The WHD assessed a fine for the violations. Out of this amount, a total of $44,621 has been paid to the 570 employees who were owed back wages. The remaining sum of $13,420 is the civil money penalties for violations against the Fair Labor Standards Act. We have paid the fine in full and we have done so knowing that we have taken the proper measures to safeguard the rights of the employees who choose to work at The Plaza.

We encourage members of the community to learn about their rights as employees. We encourage other employers to ensure they do not make the oversights we did. We take responsibility and we will continue to do so because it is our duty to our employees and customers—and to the community we are a part of.

We truly thank you for the time you have taken to read what we have shared. We truly hope to have the honor to continue serving you as a guest at The Plaza Restaurant & Bar. – The Ramos Family

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