Rick Ross Wingstop Facing Fines and Backlash After Underpaying Employees, Fans React

Rick Ross gives a lot of financial advice, but his latest move is not one aspiring business owners should follow. The WingStop titan is under fire for underpaying employees at the famous establishment. For a rapper who brags so much about wealth, it is a shocking revelation that has fans looking at him sideways. Let’s take a look at his WingStop journey and just how poorly he’s paying his workers. 

Back in 2014, during an interview with Forbes, Ross opened up about what attracted him to WingStop, and how he and his fans helped popularize the chicken chain. At the time, he only owned a handful of locations, mainly in the southern states. Ross was a fan of Wingstop well before his career took off, and shortly after he began earning money in 2006, he contemplated opening up a chain. “I began having those thoughts every time I pulled up to the restaurant,” he said. “Like, ‘Yo! This is something I need to do.'” 

In order to open one, potential owners must be able to prove liquid assets of at least $600,000. Ross had the dough and was able to get his first location open in 2011 right outside of Memphis, TN. At the time, he thanked Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison for giving him a chance since he was a new franchisee. “I didn’t have the time sitting in a franchise, but he saw my vision and my passion. He opened the doors for me. He didn’t just let me follow my dreams. He let me go to that next level.” Now, in 2022, Ross reportedly owns between 20 to 25 Wingstop locations, even gifting his son one for his birthday last year. In an Instagram post celebrating the milestone, Ross said, “Everyone wish my son @mmgbigbank HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY!!! Today, he became the owner of his 1st @wingstop franchise. [You’re] now officially a BOSS!!! Keep Going.” 

Despite how inspiring his journey is from fan to owner, it seems Ross has been cutting corners to maximize his earnings. The “Aston Martin Music” hitmaker has been fined by the US Department of Labor and was ordered to pay $114,427 in back wages after it was discovered that he was paying employees well below minimum wage. In addition to this, Ross was also charging employees for uniforms, safety training, background checks, and cash register shortages, as well as violating child labor laws. 

The franchises being charged all appeared under Boss Wings Enterprises LLC, clearly the umbrella company of Rick Ross. Over 244 workers were affected by these shady practices. In their report, the DOL said, “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.” People online were dissatisfied with Ross and took to social media to call him out. “So @RickRoss and family be abusing their @wingstop employees, you can’t have a whole football field house yet you can’t even take care of the people working for you G and supporting your financial status.” The rapper-turned-mogul has yet to respond. 

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