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Las Trancas to pay back wages in W.Va., Ohio

MARIETTA, Ohio — After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Las Trancas Inc. will pay more than $365,000 in back wages to 36 workers employed at two locations, one at the Lafayette Shopping Plaza in Marietta and the other in Clarksburg.

Thirteen workers at the Marietta location were affected, with back wages totaling $172,832, and 23 workers were affected at the Clarksburg location, with back wages totaling $193,000. The company was also fined $15,520 in civil money penalties for willful and repeat violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), officials said Monday.

An investigation started in 2008 at the Clarksburg location, and the initial investigation showed the company breaking the FLSA, officials said. The Clarksburg location is still in violation, according to investigators.

Department of Labor spokeswoman Joanna Hawkins said the investigation in Marietta is more recent.

“Investigators were assigned the case in Marietta in December of 2013,” she said, adding the investigation looked at back wages dating back to February 2012.

Investigators found that the employer failed to recognize how many hours servers worked and failed to pay them for any hours worked beyond 40 hours, officials said. The FLSA said operators can benefit by claiming a credit toward their minimum wage obligations based on the tips that servers receive.

If this tip credit is claimed, operators are required to pay a tipped employee $2.13 per hour in direct wages, as long as the total equals the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

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