US Department of Labor recovers $74K in back wages for 31 workers after investigation finds overtime violations at local restaurant
NEW PORT RICHEY, FL – Following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, Joey’s New York Pizza LLC – operating as Joey’s New York Pizza & Italian Restaurant – has paid $74,955 in back wages to 31 workers to resolve overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Investigators found the employer classified cooks incorrectly as exempt from overtime requirements and paid them a flat weekly salary, regardless of the number of hours that they worked. By doing so, the employer failed to pay these workers required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Joey’s New York Pizza also failed to pay tipped servers overtime at required rates. The employer paid some of these workers straight time rates for their overtime hours, while paying some servers overtime based upon time and one-half their direct cash wages as tipped workers, instead of basing overtime on the full minimum wage.
The investigation took place at Joey’s New York Pizza LLC in its two New Port Richey locations and in its Palm Harbor location.
“These essential workers deserve to be paid every penny of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicolas Ratmiroff in Tampa, Florida. “We encourage other employers in this industry to use the results of this investigation to evaluate their own pay practices to make sure they comply. Too often, we find workers wrongly denied overtime simply because the employer believes paying them a flat salary covers their obligation. Workers or employers with questions can call us and speak directly and confidentially with a trained wage and hour professional to get answers to their questions, or to file a complaint.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.