El Tequila ordered to pay $2.1 million to staff

Posted at 4:15 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 22:02:03-05

The owner of four El Tequila restaurants is fighting a judge's decision, ordering him to pay $2.1 million in back wages and damages to workers.

So far, no money has been handed out yet, because this case is now hung up in federal appeals court.

The attorney for El Tequila's owner Carlos Aguirre says they filed an appeal last month.

This happened shortly after a federal judge overturned a jury's verdict.

Saying there is evidence that Aguirre and El Tequila willfully underpaid employees, lied to federal investigators, and falsified payroll.           

The U.S. Department of Labor says the violations occurred between October 2009 and October 2010.

Aguirre’s attorney is confident if it reaches a courtroom for an appeal, a jury will once again rule in their favor.

“The jury heard the witnesses, the jury received instructions on what the law is, and the jury ruled in our favor,” Bill Wilkinson, attorney said. “That's got to stand for something in this country.”

The appeals court will know in weeks or months, if they will take the case.

If they don’t, El Tequila will owe $2.1 million to more than 300 employees.

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