PHILADELPHIA, PA – A Philadelphia restaurant has agreed to pay 63 workers a total of $197,917 in back wages, and an equal amount in liquidated damages, to resolve alleged federal wage violations, including requiring employees to work unpaid hours. The agreement is part of a proposed consent judgment filed on Oct. 16, 2017, pending review and approval by a federal judge.
An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in Philadelphia found that Washington Square Restaurant Partners LP – doing business as Talula’s Garden – violated the overtime, minimum wage, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
DOL investigators found that line cooks did prep work off-the-clock before the start of their shifts, resulting in unpaid overtime work. Servers and bartenders also worked – off-the-clock and without pay – to prepare food, the restaurant, and their individual work stations, resulting in minimum wage and overtime violations. The Division also found the restaurant failed to maintain accurate records of work hours for bartenders, servers, and line cooks.
“The off-the-clock work performed by Talula’s Garden employees resulted in clear violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III. “This enforcement action, and the consent judgment resolving it, advances our goal of ensuring not only that restaurant employees are properly compensated, but that employers in this industry operate on a level playing field.”
(WHD News Release: 10/16/2017)
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time-and-one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses, and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
The attorneys at Glade Voogt are committed to leveling the playing field for all employees and providing companies with the tools they need to understand and comply with all applicable labor and employment laws.
If you are an employee that believes you are due wages or overtime pay from your employer, contact us for a free evaluation of your claim.