Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor Resort and Spa violated labor laws, required to pay $30,000 in back wages

SAFETY HARBOR — The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa has paid more than $30,000 in back wages to 37 employees after a federal investigation revealed it violated labor laws, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday.

Among the spa's Fair Labor Standards Act violations: Resort management failed to pay employees for hours worked before and after their designated shifts and deducted meal periods from their hours, regardless of whether employees took meal breaks.

The 22-acre resort at 105 N Bayshore Drive is also accused of failing to make up the difference in wages when an employee's direct cash wages from the resort plus tips didn't amount to minimum wage. The resort also violated the law when it calculated time-and-a-half overtime pay on the direct cash wage instead of the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the department said.

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division launched the investigation late last year and looked at a two-year period of wages dating back to 2010. The resort paid employees the back wages during an eight-month period that ended in October.

"It is illegal for an employer to falsify the number of hours worked by employees," said James Schmidt, the Tampa office's Wage and Hour Division director.

The Safety Harbor resort's violations reflect a nationwide trend the Department of Labor has noted within the hospitality industry.

Since 2009, officials have investigated nearly 5,100 cases involving motels and hotels nationwide, affecting more than 30,000 workers and resulting in more than $16.1 million in back wages, the department said.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must be paid at least the minimum hourly wage of $7.25, as well as time and a half for hours worked beyond a 40-hour week.

The resort did not return a call for comment Tuesday.

The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, a historic landmark in downtown Safety Harbor, overlooks Old Tampa Bay and houses a fitness center, tennis courts and three pools, according to its website.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at (727) 445-4157 or

Safety Harbor Resort and Spa violated labor laws, required to pay $30,000 in back wages 12/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  2. Rays Kevin Cash: "We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence"


    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to turn it around,'' Cash said. "You can only delay it for so long and …

  3. Should kindergartners be encouraged to conform to peer pressure? One Pasco school suggests so


    A Pasco County elementary school came under fire on social media Thursday for its new behavior expectation charts that suggest conforming to peer pressure is positive, and that running in school is anarchy.

    Deer Park Elementary School has posted this chart of student expectations. Some parents have complained about its terms, such as the suggestion that conforming to peer pressure is positive.
  4. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba


    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  5. Lightning wing J.T. Brown on why he donated to remove Confederate statue


    Lightning wing J.T. Brown was back in his Minneapolis offseason home over the weekend when he saw on TV the violent protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue.

    J.T. Brown decided to get involved, donating $1,500 to assist in removing a Confederate statue in Tampa.