- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A U.S. Labor Department initiative has found that a handful of Ames restaurants violated federal labor standards and owed thousands of dollars to workers.

Department officials announced Wednesday that Ames employers owed nearly $100,000 to 158 restaurant and hotel workers after investigators looked into hospitality industries in Midwest college towns.

Officials say the effort will expand to Iowa City in coming months. The initiative began in 2014 and was led by the department’s Wage and Hour Division.

Seven out of 13 Ames restaurants and hotels that were examined violated federal overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping standards.

The violations include paying employees fixed salaries without accounting for extra hours worked, improperly calculating overtime for tipped employees, deducting the cost of uniforms from paychecks, among others.

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