MISSISSIPPI (WGHP) — Five Wingstop locations in Mississippi, owned by the family of rapper Rick Ross have been fined by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
The five Wingstop franchises are run by Rick Ross’ family and operate under Boss Wing Enterprises LLC.
According to the Department of Labor, the five Wingstop franchises made employees illegally pay for uniforms, safety training, background checks and cash register shortages.
“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet,” Jackson’s Wage and Hour Division director, Audrey Hall, said in a statement. “The law prevents Boss Wing Enterprises LLC from shifting operating costs to workers … or to allow a worker’s pay to fall below the minimum wage rate.”
Rick Ross’ older sister and assistant, Tawanda Roberts, is listed as the registered agent and manager of Boss Wings Enterprises LLC in Mississippi, according to business records filed in the state. Rick Ross’ mother, Tommie Roberts, is also listed.
Over $50,000 in wages owed to over 240 workers was recovered, according to the DOL, Boss Wings Enterprises was fined $62,753 in civil penalties.
Tawanda Roberts did not respond to media requests for comment.
Wingstop offered a statement distancing themselves from Boss Wing Enterprises LLC, stating:
“The restaurants investigated by the DOL are owned and operated by a franchisee, not Wingstop Restaurants Inc. Our franchise agreement requires all of our franchisees to operate under our operating standards, which requires compliance with all laws and regulations. We were not previously aware of the DOL action against Boss Wings LLC.”
The following violations were found in the DOL’s investigation:
- Improper paycheck deductions
- Overtime violations when the employer deducted wages for safety training and background checks
- Violations for failure to maintain proper records of hours worked
- A 15-year-old illegally working past 10 p.m.
“Employers who do not respect their workers’ rights will likely struggle to retain and recruit the people they need to remain competitive, as workers look for opportunities with employers that do,” Hall said.
Rick Ross is infamous for the number of Wingstops that he owns, the number was last reported to be 28 in a 2019 blog post.