Mississippi Wing Stop to pay back wages for labor violations

August 16, 2022 GMT

SOUTHAVEN, Miss (AP) — A Mississippi franchise operator of five chain chicken wing restaurants was illegally deducting money from workers’ wages and violated child labor regulations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Boss Wings Enterprises LLC in Southaven, which is owned by the family of rapper Rick Ross, was ordered to pay almost $115,000 in back wages, liquidated damages and civil penalties to workers at its Wing Stop franchise locations after the U.S. Department of Labor found several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Wing Stop is an Addison, Texas-based multinational chain of restaurants specializing in chicken wings.

The company made employees pay for their uniforms, safety training, background checks and cash register shortages, according to an Aug. 11 new release from the deparment. It said the company also violated child labor regulations when it allowed a 15-year-old employee to work past 10 p.m. several times in June 2021.

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The north Mississippi franchise owner caused some employees’ average hourly rates to fall below the $7.25 federal minimum wage, it said. The violations were discovered in an investigation carried out by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. Boss Wings was forced to pay back wages and liquidated damages for 244 workers as a result of the findings, the department said.

“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.”

Tawanda Roberts, the rapper’s older sister, is listed in business records as the principal of Boss Wings Enterprises. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment at her business email address.