Operator of Olive Branch Wing Stop forced to pay over $100K in penalties, DOJ says

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Boss Wing Enterprises LLC, the operator of five Wing Stop restaurants in Mississippi, including at least one in Southaven, has been forced to pay over $100,000 in penalties after the Department of Justice (DOJ) discovered several violations.

The Department of Justice said that the Wing Stop operator violated child labor laws and made employees pay for their own uniforms, safety training, background checks and cash register shortages.

Boss Wing will be forced to pay up $114,427 in all, including $51,674 in back wages and liquidated damages for 244 workers, the DOJ said.

Those violations stem from the violation of minimum wages when deductions for employees’ uniforms were taken from their paychecks, causing some people’s hourly wage to drop below the $7.25 federal minimum wage, the Department of Justice said.

The DOJ said they also discovered overtime violations when Boss Wing deduced safety training and background checks, illegally decreasing the rate-of-pay in weeks when workers earned overtime, causing those rates to drop lower than required by federal law.

“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 by deducting the costs of uniforms, cash register shortages or training expenses, or to allow a worker’s pay to fall below the minimum wage rate.”

The employer also failed to keep a record of employee hours worked and wage deductions, the DOJ said.

Along with that $51,674 in back wages for over 200 workers, Boss Wing will be forced to pay $62,753 in civil money penalties, the Department of Justice said.

Boss Wing also violated child labor laws by allowing a 15-year-old to work past 10 p.m. several times in June, the DOJ said. Children between 14 and 15 are prohibited from working before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day.

Boss Wing operates five Wing Stop locations in Mississippi. One of those Wing Stops is in Olive Branch. The others are in Clarksdale, Tupelo, Starkville and Oxford, according to the Department of Justice.