U.S. Department of Labor Lawsuit Seeks $90,261 in Wages and Liquidated Damages for Employees of East Providence, Rhode Island, Restaurants
PROVIDENCE, RI – Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the Department of Labor has filed suit against Madeira Restaurant Inc. and The Waterfront Restaurant and Lounge Inc. – operators of two East Providence, Rhode Island, restaurants – and their owner Albertino Milho and managers David Milho, and Karen DaSilva, alleging willful violations of the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Department is asking the court to order the defendants to pay $90,261 - $45,130 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – to 11 employees.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, the lawsuit charges that the defendants failed to pay employees overtime premiums when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. This included paying some employees with a check for their first 40 hours and in cash for hours above 40 at straight time, and paying other employees in cash for all their work hours at straight time.
The Department also alleges that the defendants failed to accurately record employees’ daily and weekly work hours and the cash payments they received.
“The defendants knew what the FLSA required of them yet intentionally disregarded or violated those requirements. In doing so, they not only deprived their employees of their hard-earned wages, they also undercut those competitors who choose to obey the law,” said Maia Fisher, the Department’s New England regional solicitor of labor.
“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will hold accountable employers who engage in fraudulent schemes meant to circumvent the requirements of the law. We strive to level the playing field for law-abiding competitors in the restaurant industry,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director David Gerrain in Hartford.
The Department is also asking the court to permanently enjoin and restrain the defendants from future overtime and recordkeeping FLSA violations.
WHD’s Hartford District Office conducted the original investigation. The Department’s Office of the Solicitor in Boston is litigating the case.
The Department provides numerous resources and tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local Division offices. Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program.