News Release

Connecticut Restaurant Pays $39,314 in Back Wages and Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigates

HARTFORD, CT – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Nolita LLC – operating as Nolita Ristorante in East Hartford, Connecticut – and owner Vishal Sharma has paid $19,657 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 14 current and former employees to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

The investigation found the employers violated FLSA minimum-wage provisions by failing to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all the hours that they worked. Some dishwashers and front-of-the-house employees were paid flat weekly salaries in cash that failed to cover all the hours they worked at the minimum wage. This practice also resulted in overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek yet were not paid overtime. Additional minimum wage violations occurred when the employer failed to record or pay for all of the hours that some employees worked. The employers also violated recordkeeping requirements when they failed to keep accurate time and payroll records as required by law.

"Employers must pay their employees all the wages they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour District Director David R. Gerrain in Hartford, Connecticut. "Our goal is to ensure that employers have the tools they need to comply with the law, which levels the playing field for law-abiding competitors in the restaurant industry."

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 laws enforced by the Division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.

The mission of WHD is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
October 16, 2019
Release Number
19-589-BOS
Contact: James C. Lally
Phone Number
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
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