WHD News Release: [04/05/2011]
Contact Name: John M. Chavez
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075
Release Number: 11-0356-NEW
US Labor Department secures judgment with contempt finding against Long Island catering hall, restaurant and officers
Westbury Manor failed to pay minimum wage, overtime to employees
NEW YORK The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring the payment of $610,000 in back wages, interest and penalties by Westbury Manor, including a finding that the catering hall and restaurant and its executives were in contempt of a 2005 court order for violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the department following an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division, which found that the catering hall and restaurant had failed to pay minimum wages and overtime premiums to employees, and had violated the recordkeeping and child labor provisions of the FLSA.
"The Labor Department will not allow employers to deny workers their hard-earned wages. We will use every enforcement tool available, including litigation, to bring violators to justice and secure unpaid wages for their employees," said Nancy J. Leppink, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. "We will vigorously pursue contempt charges against companies such as Westbury Manor that repeatedly and willfully break the law, without regard for the rights of our nation's workers."
The consent judgment, approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, acknowledges that the following parties are in contempt of court for not complying with a previous order by this federal court not to violate the FLSA: Westbury Manor Enterprises Inc., doing business as Westbury Manor and located at 1100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury, N.Y., and two officers of the company, Vincent Scotto and Gennaro Scotto. The judgment further enjoins Westbury Manor, Vincent Scotto, Gennaro Scotto, as well as company officer Luigi Scotto, from violating the FLSA in the future.
In its suit, the Labor Department alleged that Westbury Manor's dishwashers, cooks, waiters, busboys and bartenders were often paid less than the federal minimum wage. The employees also were required to work more than 40 hours, some in excess of 60 hours, during many weeks without being compensated properly for the overtime hours worked. Additionally, Westbury Manor did not keep accurate time and payroll records and, in many instances, maintained misleading records by reporting the same hours for kitchen employees each week for years at a time, even though their hours varied. The department further alleged that Westbury Manor had children ages 14 and 15 work longer hours than those permitted by federal child labor laws.
The Labor Department argued that these violations placed Westbury Manor, Vincent Scotto and Gennaro Scotto in contempt of a 2005 consent judgment that resolved a previous suit brought by the department to address similar violations of the FLSA and prohibited future violations of that act.
The judgment requires the defendants to pay $482,780 in back wages, $50,000 in prejudgment interest, $69,300 in civil money penalties for minimum wage and overtime compensation violations, and $7,920 in child labor penalties. In addition, the company must retain an independent monitor to ensure FLSA compliance and train employees on their rights under the act, and must provide training for supervisors and managers on the child labor regulations.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as well as time and one-half their regular hourly rates of pay for every hour they work beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment; prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law; and places limits on the number of hours minors can work per week. The case was litigated by the Labor Department's Regional Solicitor's Office in New York City.
Current and former employees of Westbury Manor who believe they might be due back wages are encouraged to contact the Wage and Hour Division's Long Island District Office in Westbury, which investigated this case, at 516-338-1890. For more information about the FLSA, call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
Solis v. Westbury Manor Enterprises Inc., et al
Civil Action Number: 2:11-CV-01504-LDW-AKT
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