Court docket prohibits Antonia’s Pizzeria in Freeport from participating in FLSA retaliation
MANCHESTER, NH – A U.S. Division of Labor investigation into the pay practices and use of kid labor at a southern Maine bar and grill has discovered the employers did not correctly pay 36 employees their wages, falsified timecards to keep away from paying extra time, and allowed minors to work lengthy hours in extra of the authorized limits. The investigation discovered that considered one of these underaged workers cleaned a hazardous meat slicer.
The division has additionally resolved retaliation-related litigation with Antonia’s Inc. in Freeport primarily based on allegations that they tried to dissuade workers from offering the division with truthful data requested by investigators with the division’s Wage and Hour Division.
The division decided that Antonia’s Inc., doing enterprise as Antonia’s Pizzeria, didn’t pay sure employees for all their hours labored or pay correct extra time for hours over 40 in a workweek. Additionally they discovered the employers edited and deleted timecard entries, allegedly to hide extra time hours labored by workers.
Investigators additionally discovered the enterprise operators permitted 5 15-year-old workers to work extra hours than federal legislation permits. As well as, they allowed a 16-year-old to wash a power-driven meat slicer, a hazardous occupation below federal rules.
Following its investigation, the division recovered $184,940, representing $92,470 in unpaid wages and an equal quantity in liquidated damages, for the affected employees. The division assessed Antonia’s with $29,052 in civil cash penalties for its willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimal wage and extra time provisions, and with $6,088 in penalties for the kid labor violations.
“Our investigation discovered that Antonia’s denied dozens of employees their full wages, falsified timecards, and violated federal legal guidelines that defend younger employees’ well-being and security,” defined Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven McKinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. “This investigation’s consequence exhibits that employers might face expensive penalties once they fail to adjust to employee safety legal guidelines.”
In a associated motion, the division’s Regional Solicitor’s Workplace in Boston litigated allegations revealed in the course of the investigation. Particularly, investigators heard claims that the employers pressured employees to not communicate with investigators, coached employees on their statements and supplied cash to employees to make statements that might make investigators consider Antonia’s had complied with the legislation.
In consequence, the division obtained a consent preliminary injunction in federal courtroom to halt the retaliation and finally resolved the retaliation grievance in a consent judgment. The judgment required Antonia’s to pay workers $16,000 in punitive damages and forbids the employers from doing the next:
- Telling any worker or former worker to supply false data to the division or in any other case influencing any worker with respect to their participation in any FLSA investigation or litigation the division brings.
- Demanding, accepting or conserving any quantity paid or payable to any present or former worker, or trying to get better any quantities paid to any present or former worker in reference to the consent judgment or some other authorized continuing introduced by the division to implement the FLSA.
- Taking some other adversarial motion towards any worker or former worker or telling any worker or former worker that they are going to undergo any adversarial motion as a result of the worker or former worker has engaged in or is about to have interaction in exercise protected by the FLSA.
The consent judgment additionally requires Antonia’s Inc. to supply coaching to all managers on the FLSA’s provisions regarding suggestions, minimal wages, extra time compensation, recordkeeping, little one labor, and retaliation.
“The division will take swift authorized motion to halt retaliation towards employees and won’t tolerate wage theft,” mentioned Regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston. “This case serves as a message to employers in New England that they need to not take any motion that might dissuade workers from participating in FLSA protected exercise, together with instructing workers to not cooperate with or present false data to the division.”
“We urge employers to evaluation the Wage and Hour Division’s intensive on-line compliance assistance toolkits and to contact the Northern New England District Workplace at 603-666-7716 with any questions in regards to the Honest Labor Requirements Act’s wage and child labor protections. Staff can name our workplace confidentially with questions no matter the place they’re from,” McKinney added.
The Honest Labor Requirements Act permits for developmental experiences however restricts the employment of youth in sure jobs and offers for penalties when employers don’t observe the legislation. The YouthRules! initiative promotes invaluable work experiences for youth by offering details about protections for younger employees. The Wage and Hour Division has additionally published Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers to assist employers adjust to the legislation.
For extra details about employees’ rights enforced by the division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The division can communicate with callers in additional than 200 languages.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, together with its search tool to study in case you are owed again wages collected by the division. Assist guarantee hours labored and pay are correct by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App in English or Spanish for free.