The parent company of na’Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse in Horsham will pay $110,369 to 42 workers following a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation that concluded the restaurant misclassified servers in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ().
Na’Brasa calls its waiters “gauchos.” They train for six months, learning how to carve meat in the Brazilian tradition. All that training, the company said, made them exempt professional employees and thus exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions. That reasoning didn’t cut it with DOL investigators.
They found other violations as well. Dishwashers, line cooks and other kitchen staff were paid a flat weekly rate that frequently worked out to less than minimum wage. Workers didn’t receive overtime pay despite often working 60 or more hours in a week. Not surprisingly, the WHD investigators found poor record-keeping of hours worked.