Reading Terminal businesses, US Department of Labor reach agreement on back wages for 140 current and former workers
PHILADELPHIA – The owners of two establishments – a produce market and a restaurant – at Reading Terminal Market have entered into a stipulation agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor that requires the payment of $660,117 in back wages and liquidated damages to 140 present and past workers to resolve violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigators found that Iovine Bros Inc. – doing business as Iovine Brothers Produce – and Iovine Brothers Bar and Grill Inc. – doing business as Molly Malloy – violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA. Both businesses are owned by James and Vincent Iovine.
Investigators found that the employer failed to pay overtime at time-and-a-half when employees at the produce market and restaurant worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, the employer paid for the overtime hours at straight time rates, in cash. The failure affected regular hourly employees, and tipped employees, such as servers and bartenders. The employer also failed to maintain some of the payroll records required by law. A civil money penalty of $62,007 was assessed due to the willful nature of the violations.
“For workers in the restaurant and service sectors, money earned through overtime can make a big difference to their livelihood,” said James Cain, director of the division’s Philadelphia District Office. “For employers in this competitive industry, maintaining a level playing field is critical. Our top priorities are to ensure that workers are aware of their rights, and to help companies come into compliance with the law.”
In the agreement, the owners agreed to change their business practices to ensure compliance with the law.
The division is committed to providing companies with the tools they need to understand and comply with the variety of labor laws the division enforces. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. In addition, 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.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time-and-one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about federal wage laws administered by the division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.