Five Wing Stop locations across Mississippi are being fined by the U.S. Department of Labor after the operators, who happen to be family members of rapper Rick Ross, were found violating child labor regulations and illegally deducting funds from employees.
According to the department’s Wage and Hour Division investigation, the stores required workers to pay for their uniforms, safety training, background checks, and cash register shortages.
At one Wing Stop location in Southaven, the department found the following violations:
- Minimum wage violations when paycheck deductions for uniforms and cash register shortages caused some employees’ average hourly rates to fall below the $7.25 federal minimum wage.
- Overtime violations when the employer’s deductions for safety training and background checks illegally decreased the rate-of-pay in weeks when workers earned overtime, and led Boss Wings to pay overtime at rates lower than federal law requires.
- Recordkeeping violations for failing to maintain a record of employee hours worked and wage deductions.
In addition to the wage violations, division investigators learned that one of the Wing Stop locations allowed a 15-year-old employee to work past 10 p.m. several times in June 2021. These work hours violated FLSA child labor work hour standards, which prohibit 14 and 15-year-olds from working before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day.
“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “The law prevents Boss Wing Enterprises LLC from shifting operating costs to workers by deducting the costs of uniforms, cash register shortages or training expenses, or to allow a worker’s pay to fall below the minimum wage rate.”
The five locations named in the investigation included:
- Boss Wings XXX LLC, operating as Wing Stop #1590 in Clarksdale.
- Boss Wings XXV LLC, operating as Wing Stop #753 in Tupelo.
- Boss Wings XXVI LLC, operating as Wing Stop #777 in Starkville.
- Boss Wings XII LLC, operating as Wing Stop in Olive Branch.
- Boss Wings XXVII LLC, operating as Wing Stop #832 in Oxford.
Following the investigation, $51,674 in back wages and liquidated damages were recovered for 244 workers along with an assessment of $62,753 in civil money penalties.