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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 10-1710-NEW / BOS 2011-040

Date: 

February 7, 2011

Contact: 

John M. Chavez

Phone: 

617-565-2075

US Labor Department’s penalty upheld against Brooklyn, NY, restaurant following the death of a teen employee


NEW YORK -- The Pearl Room, a catering hall and restaurant located at 8201 Third Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y., and company owners and officers have agreed to pay a penalty of $50,604 to the U.S. Department of Labor for violations of the child labor provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

The penalty was assessed by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division following the death of a 17-year-old employee who was working for The Pearl Room as a parking valet. He was parking cars when the fatal accident occurred.

“While the desire to protect young workers should be enough, we hope that penalties such as this will further encourage employers to take proactive measures to guarantee the safety of any young workers they might employ. And they should know that the Labor Department will take all possible steps to prevent such needless deaths in the workplace,” said Maria Rosado, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s district office in New York City.

The Pearl Room, and owners and officers Nancy Venturine and Anthony Rinaldi, agreed to the entry of consent findings and order by the Labor Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges after originally requesting a hearing on the matter. As part of the order, the respondents stated that they are now in compliance with the child labor provisions of the FLSA and that they agreed to pay the full penalty amount of $50,604 to the Department of Labor.

In 2009, the Wage and Hour Division assessed a civil money penalty totaling $50,000 against The Pearl Room for violation of “Hazardous Occupations Order Number 2 – Occupations of motor-vehicle driver and outside helper.” In addition, the agency assessed a $604 penalty for the employer’s failure to record the young worker’s date of birth as required by law.

The $50,000 penalty is the maximum allowed under an amendment to the FLSA which increased the amount that can be assessed for a child labor violation resulting in death or serious injury. It is the first of its kind assessed against an employer in New York City.

The Wage and Hour Division office in New York City investigated this case following a referral from the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigated the fatal workplace accident. For more information about the requirements of the FLSA, contact the Wage and Hour Division office in Manhattan at 646-587-5300 or call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the agency’s website at http://www.dol.gov/whd In addition, specific information about the child labor requirements of the FLSA is available at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/index.htm.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.