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Rap is littered with stories of rags to riches and rags again. Which is why it is such a pleasure to pay homage to musicians who applied some common sense to the rhymes they traded in for dollars. Rappers turning Singers are cool, but what is really powerful is some entrepreneurship. Take Chamillionaire for example. He went from Riding Dirty to investment ventures and CEOship. Another example is Rick Ross who, despite fumbling a major Reebok deal over some questionable lyrics, still finds ways to diversify his portfolio beyond music about Maybachs. As nice as it is to branch out into different ventures and pay homage to pears, properly paying your employees is even sweeter.

Rapper Rick Ross’ family, which operates several Wingstop franchises, owns the five Mississippi locations the labor department found to be illegally deducting money from workers’ wages, leaving some with take-home pay less than $7.25 an hour.

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division says the Mississippi stores – under Boss Wing Enterprises – made their employees illegally pay for uniforms, safety training, background checks, and even cash register shortages.

“Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet,” Jackson’s Wage and Hour Division director, Audrey Hall, said in a statement. “The law prevents Boss Wing Enterprises LLC from shifting operating costs to workers … or to allow a worker’s pay to fall below the minimum wage rate.”

Is it really that hard to get wings without a side of exploitation? Since when do people have to pay for their own safety training and background checks? The nerve it takes to make a song that has the chorus “when 16 ain’t enough” and pay your employees less than $8 an hour is hard to forgive.

The DOL says it recovered $51,674 in wages owed to 244 workers and fined the franchise company $62,753 in civil penalties.

$110k is chump change that’ll roll off the Teflon Don, sure, but the wrongs made right by the payout will likely make a world of difference to the employees. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and, while I’m a big advocate of lemon pepper on my wings, not getting the money I know I’ve worked for is just salt in the wound. I’m hopeful for Ross and his family though. If Arrested Development taught me anything, he might be able to recoup his losses by venturing out into healthy food trends. There’s always money in a Diced Pineapple stand.

Feds Fine Mississippi Wingstop Stores Run By Family Of Rapper Rick Ross [Mississippi Today]

Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.

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