The United States Department of Labor has recovered nearly $200,000 in unpaid wages and damages for dozens of employees of a Freeport, Long Island, pizzeria after investigators determined the restaurant failed to properly pay and protect its workers.
The Department of Labor found that Antonia’s Pizzeria failed to properly pay 36 workers their wages, falsified timecards to avoid paying overtime and allowed minors to work long hours in excess of the legal limits. The investigation also found that one underaged employee cleaned a hazardous meat slicer. The department also resolved retaliation-related litigation with Antonia’s Inc.based on allegations that the restaurant’s management attempted to dissuade employees from providing the department with truthful information requested by Department of Labor investigators.
“Our investigation found that Antonia’s denied dozens of workers their full wages, falsified timecards and violated federal laws that protect young workers’ well-being and safety,” said a Department of Labor representative in a statement. “This investigation’s outcome shows that employers may face costly consequences when they fail to comply with worker protection laws.”
Following its investigation, the Department of Labor recovered $184,940, representing $92,470 in unpaid wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, for the affected workers. The department assessed Antonia’s with $29,052 in civil penalties for its willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions, and with $6,088 in penalties for the child labor violations.
Additionally, investigators heard claims that the employers pressured workers not to speak with investigators, coached workers on their statements and offered money to workers to make statements that would make investigators believe Antonia’s had complied with the law. As a result, the department obtained a consent preliminary injunction in federal court to halt the retaliation and a consent judgment. The judgment required Antonia’s to pay employees $16,000 in punitive damages, forbade the employer from engaging in any retaliation for employee compliance with labor laws, and required the Antonia’s to provide training to all managers on the Fair Labor Standards Act’s provisions concerning tips, minimum wages, overtime compensation, record keeping, child labor and retaliation.
If you believe you are victim of wage theft, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 20 million dollars on behalf of workers who have been cheated out of their overtime or have been subjected to other unlawful pay practices.