N.Y. pizzeria ordered to pay $800K in back wages

April 12, 2011

Martino's Pizzeria Inc., which runs Mama's Pizzeria and Restaurant in Copiague, N.Y., has been ordered to pay nearly $800,000 in back wages to 40 employees via a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The fine includes immediate payment of $390,000 for minimum wage and overtime back wages, and $390,000 in liquidated damages. The judgment also entails a payment of $20,000 more for civil penalties for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to Compensation Management News, an investigation was facilitated by the Long Island District Office of the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in Westbury, N.Y.

The effort found that many Mama's Pizzeria employees were required to work as many as 80 hours a week without overtime compensation. They were also paid under the federal minimum wage levels.

Employees were paid partly in cash, and Martino's Pizzeria Inc. kept no payroll records to indicate hours, wages and other requirements. It was confirmed the company was "willfully underpaying their employees."

Topics: Hiring and Retention , Human Resources , Independent Operation , Insurance / Risk Management , Operations Management , Staffing & Training

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