Workers underserved: Court requires six Connecticut restaurants, owners to pay $858K to 105 workers after Department of Labor investigation, litigation
HARTFORD, CT – A federal court has entered a consent judgment and order requiring six Connecticut restaurants and their owners to pay a total of $858,191 in back wages and liquidated damages to 105 employees after an investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The restaurants are located in Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, New Haven and Westport.
In November 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut granted the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s motion for partial summary judgment in its entirety, concluding that the employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and recordkeeping provisions. The court awarded a total of $251,129 in back wages for overtime violations and held the employers liable for liquidated damages and forbid them from violating the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping provisions.
After obtaining a favorable order on partial summary judgment, the department and the employers entered into a consent judgment. The judgment — entered by the court in February 2023 — requires the employers to pay additional back wages, withheld tips and liquidated damages owed for all remaining claims, including those for minimum wage, tip pool and other overtime violations. It also forbids the employers from violating the FLSA and provides for a consent writ of execution should the employers fail to comply with the consent judgment’s monetary terms. The judgment also incorporates the court’s summary judgment decision and requires the restaurants and their owners to pay a total of $858,191 in back wages, withheld tips and liquidated damages.
“These employers’ pay practices deprived workers of the full, hard-earned wages and tips on which they depend to help them support themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Donald Epifano in Hartford, Connecticut. “While these types of violations are common in the restaurant industry unfortunately, they can be prevented with knowledge and compliance with the law.”
The case includes the following restaurants:
1077 LLC, operating as Scena Wine Bar and Restaurant, Darien
SL Restaurant Group LLC, operating as 55 Wine Bar, Fairfield
Greenwich Avenue Restaurant LLC, operating as Sundown, Greenwich
Siguenza LLC, operating as Cava Wine Bar and Restaurant, New Canaan
1104 Chapel Street LLC, operating as Harvest Wine Bar and Restaurant, New Haven
36 Railroad Place LLC, operating as Harvest Wine Bar and Restaurant Westport, Westport
“This case reflects the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to litigate aggressively, and secure back wages, tips and liquidated damages owed to workers,” said Regional Solicitor Maia Fisher in Boston.
“We encourage employers with questions and concerns about their responsibilities, and employees with questions about their rights under federal wage laws, to contact the Wage and Hour Division,” added Epifano.
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour. Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required for hours over 40 in a workweek. Learn about specific FLSA rules for the restaurant industry and tipped employees.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of immigration status. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate, available in English and Spanish.
Secretary of Labor v. Siguenza LLC d/b/a Cava Wine Bar and Restaurant; 1077 LLC d/b/a Scena Wine Bar and Restaurant; 1104 Chapel Street LLC d/b/a Harvest Wine Bar and Restaurant; Greenwich Avenue Restaurant LLC d/b/a Sundown; 36 Railroad Place LLC d/b/a Harvest Wine Bar and Restaurant Westport; SL Restaurant Group LLC d/b/a 55 Wine Bar; Vicente Siguenza; Wilson Siguenza; Nube Siguenza; and Kleber Siguenza.
Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-01762-VLB