Rick Ross Fined for Labor Law Violations at Mississippi Wingstop Locations

Rick Ross—through his business entity Boss Wings Enterprises LLC—has been fined by the Department of Labor for labor law violations at five of the company’s Wingstop franchise locations in Mississippi. The company has been forced to pay $114,427 in back wages, liquidated damages, and civil penalties.

Investigators found that Ross’ company illegally forced employees to pay for their own uniforms, training, and background checks, as well as cover cash register shortages, bringing the affected employee’s average wages below the federal minimum of $7.25. They also found that Boss Wings Enterprises allowed a 15-year-old employee to work past 10 p.m. on several occasions in violation of FLSA child labor work hours standards.

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 is a family affair. Mississippi Today reports that the rapper’s sister Tawanda Roberts and mother Tommie Roberts are listed as the registered agents for the company in Mississippi. In 2021 Ross said on Instagram that he had gifted his 16-year-old son a Wingstop franchise. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Ross and to Tawanda Roberts for comment.

While Ross has appeared in national ads for the Wingstop chain, the company’s corporate office shared a statement with Mississippi Today distancing themselves from Ross’ franchises:

“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.”

Source : Pitchfork