Federal investigation finds Wauseon restaurant owner ripping off employees

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 8:27 AM EST
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WAUSEON, Ohio (WTVG) - Wauseon restaurant, Los Mariachis is making national headlines this week after a federal investigation found the owner forcing his employees to pay him back a large chunk of their wages, Close to $250,000.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Investigation, Los Mariachis owner, Ruben Lopez, “forced servers, who worked an average of 60 hours a week, to cash their paychecks and then pay their wages back to him in cash, allowing the workers to keep just the tips they earned each shift plus $20 each pay period, which was every two weeks.”

The investigation also found that “Lopez paid the restaurants’ cooks a straight salary for all 60 of the hours they worked weekly, denying them any overtime wages.”

13abc went into the restaurant to speak with the owner, but the on-site manager said he was unavailable. The manager also said it was all untrue.

Frequent customer, Shaina Schroeder, says she couldn’t believe the owner of one of her favorite Mexican restaurants was ripping off his employees. “I think it’s terrible, I think it’s disgusting, there’s no excuse for it. I will not support a business that doesn’t support their workers.”

In addition to violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor says Lopez failed to keep accurate time and payroll records.

It also says Lopez immediately committed to complying with federal wage laws.

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