US Department of Labor recovers $2K in back wages, damages; assesses $7K in penalties for violations by three Jacksonville pizzerias
JACKSONVILLE, FL – The miscalculation of overtime wages and child labor violations have taken a slice of the profits from the operator of three Jacksonville pizzerias, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Westside Pizza Company Inc., Dames Point Pizza Inc. and River City Pizza Inc. – each operating as Hungry Howie’s – did not include driver compensation bonuses when calculating overtime rates, and failed to assess overtime pay requirements at the state’s minimum wage rate, which is higher than the federal minimum wage. At the pizzeria operated by Westside Pizza, investigators learned the employer hired and permitted two minors to work after 7 p.m. during a school week.
The employer’s actions violated overtime and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The division recovered $2,895 in back wages and liquidated damages for 12 workers, and assessed $7,839 in penalties to resolve the child labor violations.
“Shortchanging workers of overtime pay hurts workers who rely on that that extra pay and their families,” said Wage and Hour District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “It harms the very people who are willing to take on extra work. We encourage employers to reach out to us to answer any questions, including questions about child labor laws, to ensure they are complying with the law. Violations such as those committed by Hungry Howie’s are avoidable.”
In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the Wage and Hour Division’s Southeast region found child labor violations in more than 190 food service employers investigated, resulting in more than $1 million in penalties assessed to employers.
The Wage and Hour Division offers multiple tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and offers confidential compliance assistance to anyone with questions about how to comply with the law, by calling the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Questions can be addressed in over 200 languages. Visit the agency’s website to learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including information about protections for young workers on the department’s YouthRules! website.