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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 10-368-NEW/BOS 2010-171


April 23, 2010


Ted Fitzgerald



US Labor Department recovers more than $288,000 in back wages for employees of 6 Queens, NY, supermarkets

NEW YORK -- Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, six related companies doing business as Bravo Supermarket and C-Town Supermarket at various locations throughout Queens, N.Y., have agreed to pay 38 employees a total of $288,204 in minimum and overtime back wages found due under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Three of the stores also are required to pay the Labor Department FLSA civil money penalties totaling $3,388, and one location is required to pay $1,622 in civil money penalties for child labor violations.

The investigation found that 11 employees of two Bravo Supermarkets and one C-Town Supermarket, all located in Jackson Heights, were found to be employed in violation of the FLSA’s minimum wage requirements. These employees worked as baggers/packers and were not paid any wages at all; they just received tips from customers. One employee of a Bravo Supermarket in Astoria was found working under the same conditions. The Bravo Supermarket in Astoria also was found to have employed a minor in violation of the child labor hazardous order for having a 17 year-old worker use a deli meat slicer on a daily basis.

“Several of these employers paid their employees straight salaries even though they were covered by all provisions of the FLSA,” said Maria Rosado, assistant district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Paying an employee a salary does not make that employee exempt from coverage under the FLSA. It’s the nature of the job that determines coverage or exemption. Not paying an employee at all and expecting him or her to be compensated by tips alone is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the U.S. Department of Labor.”

In other stores, some employees were found working for wages below the federal minimum wage, while others were found to have worked over 40 hours in various workweeks without being paid proper overtime for the hours worked. The FLSA requires that employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage, and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The law also requires that employers maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment.

This investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division’s New York City District Office, which can be reached at 212-264-8185. 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

Editor’s Note: A table listing the supermarket companies involved in this settlement follows this news release. Please click the tabel link to view the table.


U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit