Rick Ross’ Wingstop Franchise Has Been Cheating Employees, Fined More Than $100K for Labor Violations in Mississippi

Rapper and entrepreneur Rick Ross‘s chicken wing franchise, Wingstop, has been fined to the tune of $114,427 in labor violations, according to the Mississippi Department of Labor.

The fines apply to five Wingstop franchise locations in Mississippi. The company reportedly forced its employees to “pay for their own uniforms, safety training, background checks, and cash register shortages.”  According to the report, they also violated child labor regulations and were made to pay $114,427 in back wages, liquidated damages, and civil penalties.

“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 in a written statement.

“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 investigation of the Mississippi Wingstop locations owned by Boss Wings led to the recovery of $51,674 in back wages and liquidated damages for 244 workers, and an assessment of $62,753 in civil money penalties.

The Department of Labor’s investigation from the Wage and Hour Division into the pay practices of Boss Wings Enterprises LLC in Southaven uncovered several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  • Minimum wage violations when paycheck deductions for uniforms and cash register shortages caused some employees’ average hourly rates to fall below the $7.25 federal minimum wage.
  • Overtime violations when the employer’s deductions for safety training and background checks illegally decreased the rate-of-pay in weeks when workers earned overtime, and led Boss Wings to pay overtime at rates lower than federal law requires.
  • Recordkeeping violations for failing to maintain a record of employee hours worked and wage deductions.

It was also discovered that Boss Wings let a 15-year-old employee work past 10 p.m. several times in June 2021, which violates FLSA child labor work hours standards. It prohibits 14- and 15-year-olds from working before 7 A.M., or after 7 P.M. from June 1, through Labor Day.