Judge orders Monterrey restaurants to comply with Labor Dept. order

News Sentinel staff
KNOXVILLE — A federal judge is ordering popular area Mexican restaurant chain Monterrey and its owners to make good on an agreement to pay $180,000 in back pay and overtime to its employees.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips on Friday issued an order to enforce the $180,000 settlement agreement reached in a 2007 federal Labor Department case against Monterrey.

Phillips issued the enforcement order Friday after finding that the company and Labor Department officials reached an agreement in early 2009 calling for the restaurant chain to pay a $50,000 installment by Jan. 30, 2009, an $80,000 installment by June 30, 2009, and another $50,000 payment by Dec. 30, 2009.

According to Phillips’ order, Monterrey sought last July to reduce the reimbursement amount to $100,000 payable in 20 installments of $5,000. Monterrey and its owners claim they did not agree to all provisions in the settlement agreement that became a court record, but Phillips ruled that they did agree.

Monterrey restaurants cited in the Labor Department case are located in Sevierville, Maryville, Lenoir City, and Knoxville.