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DOL Recovers Over $2.3M in Wage and Hour Back Wages for 578 NY Restaurant Workers

November 30, 2011

In a recent Riverside employment lawyer blog, our Howard Law attorneys discussed violations of federal labor laws in low wage industries. Wage and hour violations in the restaurant industry continue to be a growing workplace problem--as restaurant employees are often cheated out of their hard-earned wages, when employers engage in unlawful pay practices--such as paying workers cash wages that aren't accurately recorded, paying workers a flat rate for all hours worked instead of adhering to the Fair Labor Standard Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements, and falsifying employees' time and payroll cards.

As Vincent Howard reported in our Costa Mesa employment attorney blog earlier this year, in an effort to crack down on FLSA violations in low wage industries, the U.S. Department of Labor went after a group of restaurants in Long Island, New York, after DOL investigations found a number of pizza restaurants to be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act--by failing to pay employees minimum wage and overtime compensation, as required by federal law.

According to the DOL, the department has continued this enforcement initiative with Long Island restaurants--finding comprehensive noncompliance with the FLSA's overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions.

Under this initiative, the Wage and Hour Division investigated 46 pasta and pizza restaurants, and brought 578 employees $2,341,507 in back pay, as well as assessing civil money penalties in the amount of $202,315 against the restaurant employers who willfully repeated federal labor law violations.

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis stated that the DOL will continue to investigate restaurants along with other low wage industries in which illegal compensation practices are prevalent, in an effort to level the playing field for honest employers who follow the law and accurately compensate their employees. According to Solis, this initiative reflects the DOL's commitment to protecting the nation's vulnerable low wage workers from wage theft, by ensuring that employers follow federal labor laws, and don't engage in unlawful pay practices.

Inspectors from the DOL's Long Island District Office are reportedly keeping a close watch on restaurants throughout the area in order to locate and identify illegal patterns of overtime payment, record-keeping, and minimum wage violations, and to continue to educate workers about their important FLSA wage and hour rights.

In Riverside County, California, contact Howard Law, PC to discuss your California labor and employment rights.

US Labor Department initiative on Long Island, NY, nets more than $2.3 million in back wages for 578 restaurant workers affected by labor law violations, U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, November 29, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

Tennessee Restaurants To Pay Overtime Back Wages for Willful and Repeated FLSA Violations, California Employment Lawyer Blog, November 11, 2011

DOL Forces Wok King Restaurant to Pay $531K in Wage and Hour Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 2011

DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011

CA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Settlement--66 Japanese Employees to Receive $145K in Overtime Back Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 22, 2011

Another DOL Investigation Brings Restaurant Employees $275K in Overtime Back Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 18, 2011

Taqueria Restaurant to Pay Workers Nearly $250K in Overtime Back Pay and Minimum Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 15, 2011

NY Pizzerias Found in Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 23, 2011

Feds Crack Down on Wage and Hour Violations in NY Restaurants, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 15, 2011

DOL Wage and Hour Division Audits for Low Wage Industry Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 20, 2010

New Study Reveals More Abuse of Low-wage Workers in Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 11, 2010