Metro Diner franchisee in Jacksonville Beach ordered to pay employees $154,000

A company that owns two locations of a popular Jacksonville diner has been ordered to pay its employees more than $150,000.

The owners of the Metro Diner in Jacksonville Beach have been ordered to pay 59 employees a total of $154,179 in back wages, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A report says Windy City Doc Holding LLC, a Metro Diner franchisee, failed to pay workers proper minimum and overtime wages between June 2014 and June 2016.

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The company made illegal deductions from workers' pay for uniforms, which caused the employees to earn less than federal minimum wage, the report said.

The restaurant also shared tips of tipped employees with non-tipped workers, including dish washers, which contributed to minimum wage violations, the report said.

The company also calculated overtime incorrectly when it based servers' overtime rates on time and a half of their direct wages rather than full minimum wage, the report said.

The company owns two Metro Diner locations.

The founder of Metro Diner told Action News Jax that the manager responsible for the minimum and overtime wage violations no longer works for the company.

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Mark Davoli, owner of Metro Diner, sent Action News Jax a statement:

The ownership of Metro Diner regrets that the actions of an individual who formerly worked with its sole franchisee, Windy City Doc Holding LLC, which resulted in U.S. Department of Labor wage violations. These violations were limited to one franchisee location in Jacksonville Beach and the General Manager, employed by Windy City Holding Doc LLC, who was responsible was immediately removed when these violations first surfaced. Windy City Doc Holding LLC has complied with the Fair Labor Standards Act to clear all repayments. Metro Diner immediately conducted its own internal investigation while cooperating fully with the Department of Labor, and as a result,  can confirm that this was an independent action perpetrated by one individual, solely at this franchisee location and has been resolved in full."

Almost 60 employees are sharing a cut of $154,000 after Metro Diner violated minimum and overtime laws:

Posted by Action News Jax on Thursday, November 17, 2016