Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
BOSTON -- Three Boston-area restaurants, Pomodoro of Brookline, the North End Pomodoro of Boston and Matt Murphy’s Pub of Brookline, have agreed to pay a combined total of $205,380 in back wages and liquidated damages to 13 workers after investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions.
Investigators from the division’s Boston District Office found that kitchen employees at the restaurants were paid a weekly salary for all hours worked with no overtime premium. The restaurants also failed to combine hours worked by employees at different locations in the same workweek. Additionally, the employers failed to create and maintain records of employees’ work hours and to record cash payments made to employees, in violation of the FLSA’s record-keeping provisions.
“The restaurant industry employs low-wage, vulnerable workers. These workers are entitled to proper wages and proper treatment. Employers who fail to meet their legal responsibilities will find themselves liable for both the back wages due and an equal amount in damages, both payable to the workers,” said George Rioux, the Wage and Hour Division’s district director in Boston. “We are putting the industry on notice that violations will not be tolerated. Such behavior not only denies workers their hard-earned wages, it also places other employers who comply with the law at a competitive disadvantage.”
The settlement agreement was reached in coordination with the department’s regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston.
The investigations were conducted under the division’s multiyear enforcement initiative focused on the restaurant industry in Massachusetts, where widespread noncompliance with the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions has been found.
The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest-paid workers, who are vulnerable to disparate treatment and labor violations. In addition to the initiative in Massachusetts, the Wage and Hour Division has other ongoing enforcement initiatives throughout the United States to identify and remedy violations that are common in the restaurant industry.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as time and one-half their regular rates for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees.
For more information about the FLSA, contact the Wage and Hour Division’s Boston office at 617-624-6700 or the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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