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Bloomington restaurant faces labor complaint over unpaid overtime pay

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The U.S. Department of Labor has accused a Bloomington restaurant chain of denying overtime pay to staff.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court’s Central Illinois district in Peoria accuses Fiesta Ranchera and managers Nicholas and Cynthia Canchola of several labor violations, saying they “repeatedly and willfully” failed to pay hourly employees time-and-a-half when they top 40 hours per week.

The federal complaint alleges the restaurant calculated incorrect overtime pay for some servers by using the wrong amount of tip credit. Servers who receive tips can be paid less than minimum wage.

The complaint also said Fiesta Ranchera denied overtime for a salaried employee who was eligible for extra pay.

Nicholas Canchola tells WGLT the restaurant's out-of-state accountant did not keep up with Illinois' annual minimum wage increases. Canchola said the employees have been paid what they were owed. He said the restaurant typically has four to five kitchen staffers who work overtime.

The Labor Department asks the court to ensure the employees are paid in full and provide “other relief as may be necessary and appropriate.”

Fiesta Ranchera is a Mexican restaurant that has three locations in Bloomington.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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