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A regional Mexican restaurant chain will have to pay $240,000 under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor for violating federal labor laws.

Tequilas Restaurants, which is based in McCook, has Tequilas Mexican Grill and Casa Mariachi Mexican Grill restaurants in McCook and Imperial, Nebraska; Colby, Garden City and Goodland, Kansas; and Burlington, Colorado.

According to the order filed Monday in U.S. District Court, the company and Miguel Esparza, its owner, have willfully and repeatedly violated federal labor laws since at least Oct. 15, 2014, by failing to pay all employees minimum wage and time-and-a-half for overtime hours.

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf ordered Tequilas Restaurants to pay $240,000 in unpaid minimum wage and overtime compensation back wages for employees, plus 1 percent interest, according to the terms in the settlement agreement.

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Reporter

Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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