Rick Ross won’t be getting a “World’s Best Boss” mug from employees of five Wingstop locations in Mississippi operated by his business entity Boss Wings Enterprises LLC. The company has been forced to pay more than $100,000 by the US Department of Labor over violations including child labor regulations.
Investigators found that the rapper’s company illegally made employees pay for uniforms and cash register shortages, which caused the affected employees’ hourly wages to fall below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. They also cited overtime violations in which deductions for safety training and background checks led to employees being paid at overtime rates lower than federal law requirements.
The Department of Labor also discovered that a 15-year-old employee was allowed to work past 10:00 p.m. on multiple occasions in violation of FLSA child labor work hours standards. All told, Boss Wings was fined $51,674 in back wages and liquidated damages for 244 workers, with another $62,753 in civil money penalties.
“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in a statement. “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.”
Ross (born William Leonard Roberts II) doesn’t run Boss Wings alone. Per Mississippi Today, his older sister Tawanda Roberts and mother Tommie Roberts are listed as the registered agents for the company in the state. The self-proclaimed “biggest boss” has been expanding his number of Wingstop locations for the last decade.
Though Ross has appeared in a number of national advertisements for Wingstop, the company’s corporate public relations department clarified Boss Wings is a franchisee, saying, “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.”
For his part, Ross later appeared to address the allegations in his Instagram Story. “When you’re running a business, there will be mistakes but as the biggest boss, you never make the same mistake twice,” he said. “Taking accountability is big when you’re the biggest. And remember this: Most successful people don’t take stumbling as a setback, but actually a stepping stone to greater things.”
In more light-hearted Rick Ross news, he was recently denied entry into Buckingham Palace despite telling security about his “biggest boss” status. Ross’ last album was 2021’s Richer Than I Ever Been. In April, he linked with Freddie Gibbs for a reimagining of Raekwon’s 1995 classic “Ice Cream.”