Massachusetts Restaurant to Pay $282,264 for Wage and Hour Violations
BOSTON, MA – A Chestnut Hill restaurant and its owner will pay $141,132 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 15 employees in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor. Café Misono Inc. and owner Kenneth Lee have also amended their pay practices to comply with federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements. They will also pay a $7,000 civil money penalty to the Department.
The Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company and its owner failed to comply with the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements between March 31, 2013, and March 28, 2016. Specifically, they failed to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour to dishwashers who worked more than 60 hours per week and a server who worked about 17 hours per week for tips only. They also failed to pay overtime to cooks, dishwashers, and servers who worked more than 40 and up to 60 hours per week. Additionally, they supplied inaccurate information to the Division concerning the employees’ working hours.
The FLSA requires that employees receive one-and-one-half times their regular rates of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek and that employers maintain adequate and accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours.
“Employers that choose to underpay their workers, and then attempt to mask their behavior by providing inaccurate information to the government, are doubly violating the law. This hurts workers; it hurts taxpayers, and it hurts responsible employers who obey the law,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Michael Felsen.
“The Wage and Hour Division is fully committed to ensuring that workers receive the wages they have rightfully earned. Violations such as these can be avoided if employers know and heed the requirements of the law,” said Division District Office Director Carlos Matos, in Boston.
The Department’s consent judgment was filed on Oct. 16, 2017. Judge Rya W. Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts signed the judgement on Oct. 23, 2017.
The Wage and Hour Division’s Boston District Office conducted the investigation. Senior Trial Attorney James Glickman of the Boston Regional Office of the Solicitor litigated the case for the Division.
The Division is committed to providing employers with the tools they need to understand and comply with the variety of labor laws the Division enforces in a variety of languages. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive E-laws advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. The Division’s Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialists conduct ongoing outreach activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups and professional associations, among others, with accessible, easy-to-understand information about their rights and responsibilities.
For more information about the FLSA, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Boston District Office at 617-624-6700. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
Acosta v. Café Misono Inc. and Kenneth Lee Inc., et al, CA No.17-cv-11993-RWZ.