Restaurant Associates and Personnel Plus were ordered yesterday to pay 674 workers $1,008,302 in back wages, after the Department of Labor found they misclassified workers and forced them to start working before clocking in. DOL also found that Restaurant Associates didn’t pay for required benefits.

Restaurant Associates is owned by Compass USA, which also owns Eurest, Eurest Services, Bon Appetit Management Services, Flik, and Culinart Group.

“Employers given the opportunity to earn a profit by providing a service to the government at a cost to the tax payer have a legal obligation to follow the letter of the law, especially when it comes to paying their workers,” said the department’s Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil. “Workers in the restaurant industry are among the lowest-paid workers in our economy. Most struggle to afford life’s basic expenses and pay their bills; they shouldn’t have to deal with paychecks that don’t accurately reflect their hard work and the wages to which they are legally entitled.”

Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued a statement calling for the termination of Restaurant Associates’ contract.