Rick Ross has been fined for labour law violations at five of his chicken wing company’s franchise locations in Mississippi.
Among the violations, investigators found that the rapper’s company illegally forced employees to pay for their own uniforms, training, and background checks, covered till shortages from their own pocket (bringing their pay below minimum wage), and breaching child labour laws by allowing a 15-year-old employee to repeatedly work past 10pm.
As a result Ross, via his business Boss Wings Enterprises LLC, has been forced to pay $114,427 (£950,000) in back wages, liquidated damages, and civil penalties, 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.”
The fine appears to have implications for Ross’s family, as sister Tawanda Roberts and mother Tommie Roberts are listed as the registered agents for the company in Mississippi. Last year, Ross also revealed via Instagram that he had gifted his 16-year-old son a Wingstop franchise.
Members of the company’s corporate office shared a statement with Mississippi Today distancing themselves from Ross’ franchise restaurants, stating: “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.”
Earlier this month (August 4), Ross expressed his upset after being denied entry into Buckingham Palace during a visit to London.