A Wingstop franchise business owned by family of musician Rick Ross paid $114,427 for several labor violations across five locations in Mississippi, the U.S. Department of Labor announced last week.
Boss Wings Enterprises LLC made employees pay for several operating costs and violated child labor regulations, according to the statement.
“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet,” Audrey Hall, a director with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hours Division, said in a statement.
“The law prevents Boss Wings 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.”
Boss Wings Enterprises LLC is owned by Tommie and Tawanda Roberts, a Department of Labor spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY. Tommie is Ross’ mother and Tawanda is his sister. Ross' birth name is William Leonard Roberts II.
Several outlets have previously reported on the Roberts family’s Wingstop franchise ownership. In a 2014 interview with Vibe, Tawanda said she helped Ross get a deal with Wingstop and she "as hands on as you are going to get" in his business deals.
The Department of Labor’s investigation found many employees made less than the $7.25 federal minimum hourly wage after business costs were deducted from their pay.
Boss Wings Enterprises LLC paid a total of $51,674 in back wages and damages to cover 244 workers on top of $62,753 in penalties, according to the statement.
The investigation also revealed that a 15-year-old employee worked past 10 p.m. on multiple occasions in June 2021, a violation of child labor law.
"Our franchise agreement requires all of our franchisees to operate under our operating standards, which requires compliance with all laws and regulations," a Wingstop spokesperson told USA TODAY in an email. "We were not previously aware of the DOL action against Boss Wings LLC."
Tawanda Roberts did not immediately return USA TODAY's request for comment.
Ross took to Instagram Wednesday to post an apparent apology video.
"When you running a business there will be mistakes," Ross said into the camera. "But as the biggest boss, you never make the same mistake twice."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rick Ross' family-owned Wingstop locations fined for labor violations