Fairfield County restaurants pay workers $116K in back wages, damages
Four Fairfield County restaurants and their owners had paid more than $100,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to employees for violating overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act after an investigation.
The matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
WHD found that Garelick & Herbs of Westport, Garelick & Herbs of Greenwich, Garelick & Herbs of New Canaan and Garelick & Herbs of Saugatuck and owners Jason Garelick and Paola Garelick violated FLSA overtime requirements when they paid hourly workers straight time rates for hours they worked after their 40-hour work week, a news release from the Department of Labor said.
Kitchen staff were also being paid on a shift or salary basis, which led to additional overtime violations, the news release said. Investigators also cited the employers for record-keeping violations because they failed to record the number of hours worked by kitchen employees.
“Employees must receive all the wages they have earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director David R. Gerrain, in Hartford. “These types of violations can be avoided. We encourage employers to reach out to us for information and assistance in understanding their responsibilities.”
The restaurants and owners paid a total of $116,087 in back wages and damages to 35 employees.
Beyond that, the employers agree to comply with the FLSA, adopt and distribute to all employees a written leave and overtime policy and to provide FLSA compliance training to managers at all restaurants, the news release said.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, call the toll-free helpline at 866-487-9243.
Employers who notice overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program.
Workers who think they might be owned back wages can visit www.dol.gov/whd for more information.