Boston-Area Restaurant Operator Pays $79,338 in Back Wages and Liquidated Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
BOSTON, MA – An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has led Clover Fast Food, Inc. – based in Cambridge, Massachusetts – and owner Ayr Muir to pay $79,338 in back wages and liquidated damages to 65 employees to resolve violations of overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found that the Cambridge-based operator of restaurants and food trucks paid some employees straight time instead of overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week. The violations stemmed, in part, from the employer failing to combine all the hours individual employees worked at multiple locations when determining when overtime was due. Clover and Muir also misclassified certain salaried employees as being exempt from FLSA overtime requirements, failed to pay them the required overtime premium when they worked more than 40 hours per week, and failed to record the number of hours that they worked. Investigators also found the company made impermissible deductions from the salaries of otherwise exempt employees.
"The resolution of this case puts these wages into the hands of those who earned them, and demonstrates how our enforcement levels the playing field for law-abiding employers," said Carlos Matos, Wage and Hour Division District Director in Boston. "We encourage employers to use the tools and resources the Wage and Hour Division provides, and to reach out to us for assistance to avoid violations and operate in compliance with the law."
The settlement also prohibits the business and its owner from soliciting or accepting the return of the back wages from the employees and from discriminating against any employees who exercise their rights under the FLSA. WHD's Boston District Office conducted the investigation, and Senior Trial Attorney James Glickman of the regional Office of the Solicitor negotiated the settlement with WHD's assistance.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by the Division.