Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
New York, NY -- The U.S. Department of Labor has sued Martino’s Pizzeria Inc., a corporation doing business as Mama’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in Copiague, N.Y., and the company’s owners, Gaetano Pinello and Grace Pinello, for alleged violations of the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division office based on Long Island found that approximately 24 employees working at the restaurant were required to work more than 40 hours during many weeks without being compensated properly for overtime hours. The investigation also found that many of these employees were not even being paid the federal minimum wage for all hours worked. Finally, the investigation revealed that the defendants did not keep proper records regarding the hours employees worked, their rates of pay and other conditions of their employment.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage as well as one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. The law also requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.
“This legal action by the Labor Department demonstrates that we will not hesitate to file suit against employers who willfully violate the law by deliberately failing to properly pay their employees for all the hours they work,” said Irv Miljoner, district director for the Wage and Hour Division on Long Island.
The Labor Department’s suit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, charges the defendants with willful violations of the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA since May 12, 2006. The suit asks the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from future violations of the law and to order them to pay employees minimum wage and overtime back wages due, along with an equal amount in liquidated damages or prejudgment interest.
The Long Island District Office of the Wage and Hour Division conducted this investigation, and the department’s suit was filed by its Regional Solicitor’s Office in New York City. For more information about the provisions of the FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the division’s Westbury, N.Y., office at 516-338-1890. Information is also available at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
Solis v. Martino’s Pizzeria Inc., et al Civil Action Number: 2:09-CV-03644
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.