Tag Archives: Long Island

Maroni Restaurant Settles Cook’s Overtime Pay Lawsuit for $110k

Maroni overtime pay lawsuit

Renowned Long Island restaurant, Maroni Cuisine, has agreed to pay $110,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that the restaurant did not pay a cook overtime pay, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”).  Maroni, notable for its exceptional meatballs, was voted the second best restaurant on Long Island by Zagat, and was also featured on “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.”

The cook who brought the lawsuit alleged that he was required to work approximately fifty-two hours per week, and was misclassified as an exempt employee and paid a weekly salary contrary to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.  The FLSA and NYLL provide that only employees who fit within the administrative, executive, or professional exemption qualify as exempt from the overtime laws, and all other employees must be paid overtime pay for hours worked over forty.

Vivianna Morales, an attorney with Pechman Law Group, was the lead attorney on behalf of the worker at Maroni.

Montauk, Long Island 7-Eleven Settles Wage Theft Lawsuit for $199,500

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A manager at the highest grossing 7-Eleven store in the United States won $199,500 in a wage theft lawsuit against 7-Eleven. Muhammad Anwar, the manager at the 7-Eleven in Montauk, New York, alleged 7-Eleven cheated him out of minimum wages, overtime pay, and spread-of-hours pay.

 

Anwar alleged that 7-Eleven steadily increased his hours and required him to work seven days a week for 18 months straight. Although the start and end time for Anwar’s shifts varied on a week-by-week basis, he claimed that throughout those 18 months, he always worked at least 80 hours per week without an uninterrupted break each day. 7-Eleven adjusted Anwar’s hours worked at the end of each week, paying him for far fewer hours than he actually worked. In one example of time shaving, Anwar claimed that 7-Eleven paid him for six hours’ worth of work, despite working 80 hours during that week.

 

In late June of 2013, the  FBI raided fourteen 7-Elevens across Long Island and Virginia for requiring their employees to work more than 100 hours per week and only paying them for a fraction of that time.  Anwar claims that after these raids, the Montauk 7-Eleven reduced his hourly wages from $25.00 to $16.00, started paying him overtime, and substantially reduced his weekly hours.

 

7-Eleven has been hit with several wage theft lawsuits recently, alleging that their stores fail to pay workers overtime pay.

Peter Luger’s Steakhouse Settles Wage Lawsuit for $250,000

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Workers at Peter Luger’s, recognized by Zagat’s as the best steakhouse in New York, has agreed to a $250,000 settlement to resolve claims made against the Long Island location of the steakhouse for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York labor law violations, according to papers filed with the court.

Restaurant employees initially filed a complaint against the steakhouse in March 2013, alleging that the restaurant failed to pay them for all hours worked, specifically that the restaurant violated its workers’ rights by failing to pay proper overtime and minimum wages and spread-of-hours pay, and by maintaining an illegal tip pool.  The Complaint alleged that the management deducted $20.00 from the tip pool every day, which would then be given to the kitchen staff at the end of the year.

The workers have asked the Judge Wexler to approve the settlement and certify the proposed class, which would cover 62 employees who worked at the restaurant’s Great Neck location as servers, waitstaff, waiters, and bartenders.

Long Island Sushi Restaurants Settle With DOL for $288,000

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Two Xaga Sushi restaurants located in Merrick and Hewlett, Long Island will pay $261,887 in back wages and liquidated damages to 70 low-wage workers as part of a consent judgment obtained in federal court by the U.S. Department of Labor, along with $26,322 in civil money penalties.

 

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the two Nassau County restaurants violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, the restaurants paid their employees, who regularly worked from 42 to 50 hours per week, a flat monthly salary with no overtime pay for those hours worked above 40 in a workweek. In addition, the restaurants also operated an illegal tip pool in which tipped employees, such as the front of the house staff, were required to share their tips with kitchen staff.  Workers were paid in cash, and adequate payroll records were not kept by the restaurants.

The judgment, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip, was filed by the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in New York City. The judgment prohibits the defendants from withholding payment of the back wages and damages, requires them to pay proper minimum wage and overtime to employees, and to maintain adequate and accurate records of wages and work hours.

 

“These at-risk workers will now receive the wages and tips to which they are entitled under the FLSA,” said Irv Miljoner, the division’s Long Island district director. “Not paying legally required minimum wage and overtime deprives these workers and their families of money for daily living expenses. It also undercuts those employers who choose to obey the law and pay their workers properly.”

 

The investigations were conducted under the Wage and Hour Division’s multiyear enforcement initiative, which focused on various sectors of the Long Island restaurant industry. In addition to identifying wage violations and recovering money for underpaid workers, the initiative’s goal is to permanently change industry behavior to ensure proper compensation for all workers and a level playing field for all employers.

 

The FLSA provides restaurant workers’ rights to be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as time and one-half their regular rates 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, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for back wages and liquidated damages payable to the workers.

 

 

“Restaurant Stakeout” Star Sued For Pay Violations By Housekeeper

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Food Network personality Willie Degel has been accused of cheating his housekeeper out of overtime, minimum wage, and spread of hours pay, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

Lawyers for Ann Jimenez, a domestic worker who worked at Degels’ mansions in Long Island, allege that she worked more than ten hours a day and seventy hours a week, but was paid a flat salary between $400 and $500 per week, an amount that came out to less than minimum wage.

Degel, who is best known for his role on the Food Network show “Restaurant Stakeout,” is also currently facing a lawsuit by the waiters, busboys and servers at his Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse restaurants in New York City.  Attorneys in that case claim that the restaurants failed to pay the servers overtime and wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law.

Department of Labor Cracks Down on Long Island Restaurants

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The United States Department of Labor is targeting Long Island restaurants, charging close to 100 restaurants on Long Island with minimum wage and overtime violations in the last year, according to a Newsday article dated February 24.  Chateau Briand, a Long Island catering hall recently agreed to pay $278,000 to settle contempt charges filed by the United States Department of Labor that alleged that Chateau Briand had failed to pay its workers overtime and minimum wage.

Long Island Diners Pay $159,000 to Settle Overtime and Minimum Wage Claims With Department of Labor

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The United States Department of Labor has settled overtime and minimum wage claims against Carle Place Diner and On Parade Diner in Woodbury for a total of $159,288.  In cases filed this month in the Eastern District of New York, public settlements have been filed with Court.  The Carle Place Diner Consent Judgment was for $85,729, covering thirty-two workers.  The On Parade Consent Judgment was for $73,559, covering eighteen workers.

The Department of Labor’s complaints against the diners alleged that the restaurants failed to pay their restaurant workers the correct minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) and failed to pay employees overtime (time and a half pay) for hours they worked over forty in a week.