U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Pennsylvania Restaurant Paying Back Wages, Damages in Settlement Agreement
HATFIELD, PA – In a consent judgment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Via Marconi Pizza Pub Inc. – a bar and restaurant based in Hatfield, Pennsylvania – will pay $362,988 in back wages and liquidated damages to 25 employees for overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD). WHD also assessed a $21,398 civil monetary penalty due to the willful nature of the violations.
WHD investigators determined that – from July 2, 2016, to March 23, 2019 – Via Marconi Pizza Pub Inc. violated the FLSA when it failed to pay kitchen employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, the employer continued to pay straight-time rates, sometimes in unrecorded cash, for overtime hours. The employer also failed to maintain required records of the number of hours employees worked.
"This employer failed to pay overtime to kitchen staff who regularly worked 46 to 73 hours per week. Our work ensures that employees are paid all the wages they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour District Director James Cain, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "This case should remind other employers to evaluate their own practices to ensure they comply with the law. Violations and penalties like those in this case can be avoided."
In addition to paying the back wages, damages and penalty, the judgment prohibits Via Marconi Pizza Pub Inc. from future violations of any FLSA provisions.
"This legal action and consent judgment will help to ensure that these employees are paid at least the minimum wage and overtime, and that employers in the restaurant industry operate on a level playing field," said Philadelphia Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III.
WHD is committed to providing employers with the tools they need to assist them in fulfilling their obligation to understand and comply with the variety of laws the Division enforces. 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.
WHD's mission 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.