Federal court orders Massachusetts pizza restaurants, owner to pay $307K in back wages, damages to 14 employees after investigation, litigation
BOSTON – The operator of two Framingham area pizza restaurants must pay $307,704.86 – $153,852 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – to 14 employees after the U.S. Department of Labor obtained summary judgment in federal court.
Entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston, the judgment requires Pizza Peddler restaurants in Natick and Wellesley Hills and their owner, Petro Belezos, to pay the back wages and liquidated damages based on the defendants’ willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The court concluded that the employers failed to pay the required overtime compensation when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The court also held that defendants violated the FLSA’s minimum wage requirements by failing to pay an employee who worked as a cook.
“Employers who disregard the Fair Labor Standards Act willfully also ignore the rights of their employees to receive all the wages they worked long hours to earn and place law-abiding competitors at a disadvantage,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carlos Matos in Boston. “We encourage employers and workers to contact the Wage and Hour Division to learn about their respective responsibilities and rights.”
“In this case, the court agreed with the Department of Labor’s reconstructed overtime back wage calculation, and granted the department summary judgment on the reconstructed back wages the department sought,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston. “Employers must maintain the records the Fair Labor Standards Act requires. When employers fail to maintain adequate and accurate records of their employees’ work hours, the department will reconstruct the back wages employees are owed and litigate to recover those back wages aggressively, including by seeking summary judgment as we did in this case successfully.”
The judgment also restrains the defendants from violating the FLSA in the future.
The Wage and Hour Division’s Boston District Office conducted the original investigation. The Boston Regional Solicitor’s Office litigated the case for the department.
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
Secretary of Labor v. Beleco Inc., d/b/a Pizza Peddler, Conco Inc. d/b/a Pizza Peddler and Petro Belezos
Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-10044-DJC.