Bernie’s Burger Bus to pay fines to settle overtime, record-keeping violations

HOUSTON — Bernie’s Bellaire, LLC. and Bernie’s Katy. LLC. — doing business as Bernie’s Burger Bus — will pay $62,754 to settle overtime and record-keeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

The company operates three locations in the Houston area including Bellaire, The Heights and Katy.

WHD found the companies failed to pay legally required overtime to 49 servers, cooks, and dishwashers, and additionally, the companies failed to maintain required records, such as employee addresses. Employees were paid straight-time rates for their overtime hours instead of time-and-a-half as required by federal law.

From a news release from the U.S Department of Labor:

“The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring employees receive all the wages they have rightfully earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field,” said Betty Campbell, Southwest Regional Wage and Hour Division Administrator.

The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to enforce the law. We encourage employers to use the numerous resources WHD offers - including online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to our local offices - to ensure they have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law.”

Here is what Bernie's Burger Posted on Facebook:

Hey everyone, in response to the article surfacing today regarding the Department of Labor, there were prolific lessons I learned in the transition from a food truck to a brick and mortar business and FLSA processes were absolutely one of those. Upon being made aware of the inaccuracies of my timekeeping in the beginning days of Bernies, I immediately made all the necessary reparations and payments in accordance to the Department of Labor. Our employees are the heart of the restaurant and the fact that we have three thriving restaurants today is only because of their hard work and support. This wasn’t a situation of malice but simply trial and error. While it’s unfortunate this was a part of my company’s history, I’m proud that I’ve since hired a management team who is knowledgable about the administrative parts of my business, so I can focus on what I do best. Burgers.
-Thanks, Justin Turner