Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $42,244 in back wages and damages for seven workers at Bini Bakery Corp. of Niles, Ill., and its parent company, Anna Bini USA Corp. of Chicago, after an investigation determined that the companies and their principals, Soon Hwa Choi and John Kim, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying overtime and, in the case of some employees, the minimum wage.
“We are committed to ensuring that all workers, particularly those most vulnerable, are paid the wages they have earned and are required to receive,” said Thomas Gauza, director of the department’s Wage and Hour Division district office in Chicago. “We hope that this case reminds other employers to be familiar with the law’s requirements and careful about compliance so that workers are properly compensated for all the hours they work.”
Wage and Hour Division investigators determined that some employees at the wholesale baking operation in Chicago and retail bakery and café in Niles were not paid the federal minimum wage and no employees were paid overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a week. The employers often paid some employees a set salary for all hours worked, amounting in less than the minimum wage per hour. Several of those employees were working 60 hours a week. The employers also failed to maintain accurate time and payroll records, therefore violating the recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA. The companies and their principals have agreed to pay $28,163 in unpaid minimum wage and overtime compensation and $14,081 in liquidated damages to the employees for the period of April 26, 2008, through June 27, 2009.
Following a federal court order, the company began making installment payments this month and will continue to do so through August.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s Chicago District Office at 312-596-7230 or the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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