CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – A district court judge has ordered David Cole, the owner of Hurricane Alley’s and the former owner of The Dive in Carolina Beach, to pay over $40,500 in back wages to 30 employees.

The decision comes after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found violations of minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The investigation found that Cole violated the minimum wage requirements when he required tipped-employees to work only for tips. Since Cole paid no wages to the tipped-employees, he owed the workers the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Cole also declared all employees to be independent contractors rather than employees. The inaccurate classification resulted in overtime violations when he paid straight time to hourly employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, instead of the required time-and-one-half their regular rates.

Investigators also found Cole failed to maintain required payroll records, an FLSA recordkeeping violation.

In addition to being ordered to pay the back wages, Cole, Hurricane Alley LLC, and Diver Down LLC are enjoined from committing future violations under the FLSA.

The Dive has been under new ownership since March 2018.

Owner Of Carolina Beach Restaurant Ordered To Pay $40k in Back Wages To 30 Employees