N. Conway restaurant owner admits to withholding tips, wages from workers
Company agrees to reimburse employees after U.S. Labor Department settlement
Luchador Tacos LCC has agreed to pay $75,000 to some 31 workers at its North Conway location over charges of withholding tips and wages, a year after the company reached a similar settlement in Maine.
The U.S. Department of Labor filed the consent decree, which was also against the company’s owners,, Joshua Mitchell and Katherine Mitchell, on Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court in Concord. The violations, which were took place between February 2020 and February 2022, included not giving employees their credit card tips as well as inaccurately calculating overtime pay. The amount owed to individual employees ranged from $57 to $61,000.
The restaurant did not return NH Business Review inquiries by deadline, but according to the restaurant’s website, Katherine Mitchell, who hails from Los Angeles, Calif., moved to Maine in 2004, and with her husband opened a restaurant in Paris in South Paris, Maine, about 40 miles northeast of Conway, in 2017. The two expanded to North Conway in 2019 and opened up a third restaurant in June 2021 in Windham, Maine, all in an effort to “provide West Coast flavors to the East Coast.”
On Sept. 13, 2021,, the Maine Department of Labor cited the Luchador Tacos South Paris restaurant with about 800 violations concerning 39 employees at the Paris restaurant dating from August of 2018 to April of 2020. Many involved recordkeeping, but there were also overtime and credit card tip violations involving some 14 workers. The restaurant agreed to reimburse the employees some $60,000 for the tip violations, plus an extra 10 percent, thus avoiding an additional $70,000 in penalties to the state. Instead, it just paid the state a $500 fine. The company also agreed not to engage in such activity again.