After a Department of Labor investigation found that it failed to pay nearly $63,000 in overtime wages to employees, Bernie’s Burger Bus says that it is in the process of paying them back.
Owner Justin Turner says his restaurant has already paid $49,000 in back overtime wages to employees at both Bernie’s Burger Bus locations in Bellaire and Katy, according to CultureMap. The Department of Labor’s investigation found that nearly 50 employees hired by Turner’s restaurant were owed money. When Ben Miller, the company’s vice president of operations was hired in 2016, he found the problem.
“We made a mistake. We’ll gladly pay for our mistake,” Turner told CultureMap’s Eric Sandler, citing his lack of experience for the costly snafu. “I attribute a lot of my early success to the fact that I can run a really good kitchen, but I’m not a businessman. When I went from the food truck to a restaurant, I had no clue what I was doing.” Records indicate that the restaurant made steps to rectify the issue and pay back wages, which meant that it avoided the Department of Labor assessing extra fines once the investigation was complete.
Turner also issued a statement on the public Facebook page for Bernie’s Burger Bus, saying that the incident wasn’t a “situation of malice.” “Our employees are the heart of the restaurant and the fact that we have three thriving restaurants today is only because of their hard work and support,” he wrote. “While it’s unfortunate this was a part of my company’s history, I’m proud that I’ve since hired a management team who is knowledgable about the administrative parts of my business, so I can focus on what I do best. Burgers.”