Nolita Ristorante in East Hartford, Connecticut will pay $39,314 to 14 employees, after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Department of Labor investigation found the employers violated FLSA minimum-wage provisions by failing to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all the hours that they worked. Some dishwashers and front-of-the-house employees were paid flat weekly salaries in cash that failed to cover all the hours they worked at the minimum wage. Certain state labor laws require higher hourly wages than the federal minimum wage. The minimum wage in Connecticut is currently $11.00 per hour and is set to increase gradually over the next three years until it has reached $15.00 per hour. Note that in New York, the minimum wage for back of house workers is $15.00 per hour for restaurants with 11 or more employees.
The restaurant’s pay practice also resulted in overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek yet were not paid overtime wages. Restaurant workers are often cheated out of their overtime wages when paid on a salary-basis. The FLSA requires that restaurant employees be paid at a rate of time-and-a-half (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) for all hours exceeding 40 per work week. For example, if a dishwasher in a restaurant in Connecticut is making $11.00, any hour he works over 40 should be paid at $16.50.
The team of attorneys at Pechman Law Group have handled hundreds of restaurant worker cases around the country, including Connecticut. If you are a restaurant worker who believes you have been paid incorrectly, please reach out to our office at 212-583-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation.