Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Restaurant and Market to Pay $660K for Overtime Violations

reading terminal market overtime issue

A produce market and a restaurant at Reading Terminal Market will pay $660,117 to settle overtime claims.  The settlement is for back wages and liquidated damages for 140 present and past workers to resolve violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Department of Labor investigators found that Iovine Brothers Produce and Molly Malloy’s restaurant, which operates out of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA.  The investigation determined that the companies failed to pay overtime at time-and-a-half when employees at the produce market and restaurant worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.  Instead, the employer paid for the overtime hours at straight time rates, in cash.  The failure affected regular hourly employees, and tipped employees, such as servers and bartenders. The employer also failed to maintain some of the payroll records required by law. A civil money penalty of $62,007 was assessed due to the willful nature of the wage theft violations.

“For workers in the restaurant and service sectors, money earned through overtime can make a big difference to their livelihood,” said a Department of Labor spokesman. “For employers in this competitive industry, maintaining a level playing field is critical.  Our top priorities are to ensure that workers are aware of their rights, and to help companies come into compliance with the law.”

The federal FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour ($11.00 per hour for workplaces with more than 10 workers in New York City), for all hours worked, plus time-and-one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

Race Discrimination Lawsuit Filed against Panera Bread Restaurants

panera bread logo

A race discrimination class action lawsuit has been filed by an African-American sandwich line worker at a Pennsylvania Panera Bread restaurant claiming that black employees were denied opportunities for promotion to management positions.

The Complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleges that Panera restaurants precluded “Fat, Black, and Ugly” people from its workforce and kept these individuals away from customer contact. The lawsuit alleges that restaurant management adopted a racially-based hiring and work assignment policy and that blacks were routinely assigned to jobs in the back of the store, washing dishes or in food preparation, so customers would not see them.

Attorneys for the worker seek class action status for the case and compensatory and punitive damages for a class of African-American workers at Panera Bread who sought management positions at the restaurant.