Famed rapper turned business mogul, Rick Ross, is facing heat following reports of labor law violations. Among his varied business portfolio is ownership of five Wingstop franchise locations in Mississippi under his Boss Wings Enterprises LLC.
Ross' company was forced to pay a fee of $114,427 towards back wages, liquidated damages, and civil penalties. It was determined following an investigation that employees received less than the minimum wage of $7.25 due to being illegally required to purchase their own uniforms, training, background checks, and cover cash register shortages.
It was also found that Ross' company allowed a 15-year old to work later than 10pm, which is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) child labor work hours. Distancing itself from the allegations, Wingstop has pointed out that the locations in question are franchises they do not own or operate.
According to Pitchfork, the Department Of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall said in a statement:
“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet. 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.”
Boss Wings Enterprises LLC is co-owned by Ross' sister Tawanda Roberts and mother Tommie Roberts. As of the news report, $51,674 of $114,427 in back wages and liquidated damages for 244 workers was recovered by the Department of Labor and $62,753 in civil penalties was assessed.
In a video posted by Ross on his Instagram stories, he addressed the issue:
“When you’re running a business, there will be mistakes but as the biggest boss, you never make the same mistake twice,” he said, adding, “taking accountability is big when you’re the biggest.” He also stated: “Most successful people don’t take stumbling as a setback, but actually as a stepping stone to greater things.”