Philadelphia Restaurant Agrees to Pay Employees Nearly $400,000
PHILADELPHIA, PA – A Philadelphia restaurant has agreed to pay 63 workers a total of $197,917 in back wages, and an equal amount in liquidated damages, to resolve alleged federal wage violations, including requiring employees to work unpaid hours. The agreement is part of a proposed consent judgment filed on Oct. 16, 2017, pending review and approval by a federal judge.
An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in Philadelphia found that Washington Square Restaurant Partners LP – doing business as Talula’s Garden – violated the overtime, minimum wage, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
“The workers at Talula’s Garden did not receive the required minimum wage and overtime pay,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director James Cain, in Philadelphia. “Our agency is committed to ensuring that workers not only receive the wages they have rightfully earned, but that employers are provided all the tools they need to understand and comply with the law.”
Division investigators found that line cooks did prep work off-the-clock before the start of their shifts, resulting in unpaid overtime work. Servers and bartenders also worked – off-the-clock and without pay – to prepare food, the restaurant, and their individual work stations, resulting in minimum wage and overtime violations. The Division also found the restaurant failed to maintain accurate records of work hours for bartenders, servers, and line cooks.
“The off-the-clock work performed by Talula’s Garden employees resulted in clear violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III. “This enforcement action, and the consent judgment resolving it, advances our goal of ensuring not only that restaurant employees are properly compensated, but that employers in this industry operate on a level playing field.”
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.
The Division is committed to leveling the playing field for all employers and 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, Community Outreach and Resource Planning specialists conduct ongoing activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups, and professional associations.
For more information about federal wage laws, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.