Cold hard cash

Feds freeze out local Dairy Queen operator for $358,000 in back pay

Feds freeze out local Dairy Queen operator for $358,000 in back pay

Dairy Queen
The local Dairy Queen biz is facing a blizzard of legal troubles surrounding back wages. Courtesy of Dairy Queen

The operator of 19 Dairy Queen locations in the Austin area has been ordered to pay more than $358,000 in back wages and interest for 31 managers.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division says it has recovered $358,200 from R&S Dairy Queens Inc. for the employees. The division determined the managers, who received less than the required minimum salary for managers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, were entitled to the minimum wage for every hour of work plus overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.

The back wages cover the period from December 1, 2018, to December 31, 2020.

A federal judge in San Antonio backed up the division’s findings and barred R&S Dairy Queens from further violations of the Fair Labor and Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. The court order was filed in August.

“Employers cannot avoid overtime requirements by simply giving an employee a title and paying them a salary. Most employees — even those paid a fixed salary or flat amount per day or shift — are entitled to overtime unless specific [federal] requirements are met,” Cynthia Ramos, the division’s district director in San Antonio, says in a November 1 news release.

The 19 franchise locations operated by New Braunfels-based R&S Dairy Queens have about 350 full- and part-time employees.

Natalie Rougeux, a New Braunfels employment attorney representing R&S Dairy Queens, couldn’t be reached for comment.