Court Orders Pennsylvania Restaurant to Pay $88,282 in Back Wages, Damages and Penalties Following U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
BETHEL PARK, PA – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has entered a consent judgment against Danny's Pizza Enterprises Inc. – a Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, quick-service restaurant doing business as Danny's Pizza & Hoagies – following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that found the employer violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The judgment requires Danny's Pizza Enterprises Inc. and its owner and corporate officer Daniel Rowsick, to pay $39,577 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 16 current and former employees. The willful nature of the violations led to an additional assessment of a $9,128 civil money penalty.
WHD investigators found that from January 11, 2015, to January 6, 2018, the defendants paid employees their straight-time rates, in unrecorded cash, for their overtime hours instead of paying them time-and-one-half for those hours as required by the FLSA. This practice led to recordkeeping violations when the defendants failed to maintain records concerning this payment to workers. Additional recordkeeping violations resulted when the employer's records failed to include any information at all for some employees.
"When an employer willfully uses deceptive practices that prevent employees from collecting wages owed under the FLSA, we must respond," said Wage and Hour District Director John DuMont, in Pittsburgh. "The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring employees receive all the wages they have rightfully earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field."
In addition to requiring payment of the back wages, damages, and penalty, the consent judgement enjoins the defendants from future FLSA violations.
"This judgment sends a clear message that disregarding the basic rights of employees comes at a high cost," said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.