US Department of Labor sues former Albany restaurant owner, operator to end retaliation against workers who filed wage lawsuit
ALBANY, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit against the former owner of an Albany restaurant after he allegedly tried to intimidate three workers and prevent them from participating in a private class action lawsuit, thus depriving them of their full rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The complaint seeks to enjoin David Ip from further adverse action against former and current employees and recover compensatory and punitive damages for the workers stemming from the allegations of defendant’s willful and flagrant violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s anti-retaliation provisions.
The department alleges that David Ip – former owner and operator of Ichiban restaurant – violated federal anti-retaliation provisions when he shared personal and other sensitive information about the three workers with a Rensselaer County deputy sheriff who also worked for David Ip’s security business when off duty. The deputy sheriff then contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities with the information, and with details on when and where the workers would be in Albany for a deposition in their class action lawsuit.
As a result, ICE arrested and detained one of the workers during the lunchbreak of his deposition conducted by David Ip’s attorney.
“The U.S. Department of Labor takes allegations of retaliation very seriously and will not hesitate to take legal action to prevent employers from engaging in unlawful retaliation and recover damages for affected workers. Putting a stop to retaliation is a priority and the department stands ready to litigate aggressively against employers that violate the Fair Labor Standard Act’s anti-retaliation provisions,” explained Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff in New York.
“The Wage and Hour Division does not tolerate retaliation against workers. Employees have a right to engage in activities protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including filing a FLSA lawsuit, without fear of being punished or intimidated by their employer. Workers and employers alike who want to know more about their FLSA rights and responsibilities are encouraged to contact our office,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jay Rosenblum in Albany, New York.
The suit was filed August 25, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
Learn more about how the Wage and Hour Division protects workers against retaliation. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers confidentially in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Walsh v. David Ip.
Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-886 (GTS/DJS)