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News Brief

Marrocco Group to pay $303K in back wages and damages to 146 low-wage workers at 7 Providence, Rhode Island, locations

Payment results from US Labor Department wage and hour investigation

Employer name: Marrocco Group, four restaurants, two bar/lounges and a boutique hotel owned by Gianfranco Marrocco.

Investigation sites: Amici Bar & Grill - 242 Atwells Avenue • Caffé Dolce Vita - 59 DePasquale Plaza • Mediterraneo Caffé - 134 Atwells Avenue • Wise Guys Deli - 133 Atwells Avenue •Skarr Hookah Lounge - 292 Atwells Avenue • Smoke Lounge - 114 Spruce Street • Hotel Dolce Villa - 59 DePasquale Plaza
Investigation findings: An extensive review of payroll records revealed numerous payment schemes that resulted in violations of the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act at the seven locations. The firm failed to pay cooks and dishwashers time and a half for hours worked beyond forty in a workweek. Some payrolls showed two different entries for hours worked (20 hours at straight time and 25 hours at straight time, rather than 45 hours), or straight time of 40 hours and a payroll entry of 'OTHER' that equaled hours over 40 at straight time. In other cases, pay for hours over 40 was paid in cash, "off the books". This investigation was part of an ongoing multiyear education and enforcement initiative by the Wage and Hour Division's Hartford district office to improve compliance in the Connecticut and Rhode Island restaurant industries.

Resolution: Gianfranco Marrocco and the businesses have agreed to pay 146 employees $151,643.65 in back wages and $151,643.65 in liquidated damages for a total of $303,287.30. The investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division's Providence Area Office. Legal support for the division was provided by Attorney Susan Salzberg of the Labor Department's regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston.

Quote: "We found 146 low wage Marrocco Group employees working long hours without being paid legally required overtime compensation. Unfortunately, these violations are far too common in the restaurant and hospitality industry and harm workers and undercut law-abiding employers who pay their employees correctly," said Michelle Garvey, the Wage and Hour Division's district director for Rhode Island and Connecticut. "We will continue to make unannounced visits to restaurants in Rhode Island and Connecticut to help ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled."

For more information: on federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the department's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the agency's Web site at http://dol.gov/whd.

WHD News Brief: [05/27/2015]
Contact Name: Ted Fitzgerald or Andre J. Bowser
Phone Number: (617) 693-565-2075 or 2074
Email: Fitzgerald.Edmund@dol.gov or Bowser.Andre.J@dol.gov
Release Number: 15-0683-BOS