Akbar Restaurant has been accused of wage theft by the United States Department of Labor in a case filed in New York federal court. The lawsuit accuses the restaurant of violating the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Department of Labor lawsuit claims that the Garden City restaurant paid kitchen workers and dishwashers a set weekly salary per week or a day rate, regardless of the number of hours that they worked. Although the employees sometimes worked as many as sixty hours per week, Akbar did not pay them overtime at one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty per work week.
The lawsuit also alleges that Akbar’s “front of the house” workers, including servers and bussers, typically worked as many as seventy hours per week but were also paid a set weekly salary or day rate regardless of the number of hours worked. The servers’ salaries ranged from approximately $30 to $40 per day, and bussers’ salaries ranged from approximately $350 to $425 per week.
Attorneys for the Department of Labor also claim that Akbar failed to keep accurate records of the employees’ actual hours of work, rates of pay, and total weekly payments and took steps to disguise their violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by keeping multiple sets of fraudulent records. This is the second lawsuit by the Department of Labor against Akbar, which was previously ordered in 2012 to pay $110,475.73 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages to their employees.