Black’s Barbecue tied to illegal tip-sharing by federal investigation

A federal investigation into Black’s Barbecue found the Central Texas food chain violated a year-old law by tip sharing – reallocating $ 230,353 in tips from servers to managers, taking away earned wages from more than 270 employees – the US Department of Labor said Monday.

Black’s Barbecue locations in Austin, New Braunfels, Lockhart and San Marcos were targeted by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division investigation resulting from a 2019 audit and a federal labor rule change making it illegal to share employee-earned tips with managerial staff.

Kent Black, grandson of original Black’s Barbecue pit master Edgar Black Sr. and current member of the Black’s ownership group, told the American-Statesman on Tuesday that the company outsourced its payroll and was unaware of the rule revision that managers should not take tips.

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