Upper Crust Pizzeria fined again for labor violations

June 26, 2011

Upper Crust Pizzeria, in Salem, Mass., has been fined more than $80,000 by the Department of Labor for a violation of federal overtime and record-keeping laws.

According to Boston.com, the restaurant failed to pay 11 employees for overtime work. The department also concluded that franchise owner Michael Buchhalter failed to maintain records of employee hours for about two and a half years.

The investigation was conducted between January 2009 and April 2011.

Buchhalter signed an agreement to comply with federal requirements in the future. He will pay 11 of his employees back wages totaling $40,277, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages.

Labor violations are not new for Upper Crust. The Upper Crust LLC, which operates about 20 units in the Boston area, is under investigation by the Labor Department and other agencies for its employment practices. The company owes more than $341,000 to 121 employees after a 2009 investigation uncovered similar violations.

In December, former Upper Crust employees alleged the chain exploited Brazilian immigrant workers throughout the past 10 years.

Topics: Hiring and Retention , Operations Management , Staffing & Training

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