A federal court in Pennsylvania has entered a consent judgment ordering a local restaurant and its owners to pay $252,579 in back wages and liquidated damages to 21 employees, an action that follows a federal investigation that found the employers denied proper overtime pay intentionally.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division found College Pizza Inc., operating as Olympia Pizzeria at 209 West Germantown Pike in East Norriton, and owners Dimitrios Efthimiou and Stravos Efthimiou did not pay kitchen workers time and one-half for hours over 40 in a workweek.
From the announcement:
Investigators discovered that the employers tried to conceal their violations by paying cash wages to two employees and by not recording their hours worked or amounts paid. They also paid other kitchen staff a portion of their hours on payroll and the remainder in cash, neither of which included required overtime pay, and paid four other kitchen staff straight-time rates for overtime hours.
The division also found Olympia Pizzeria lacked an accurate record of all employees’ hours worked and learned the restaurant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor provisions by employing two children too young to work as delivery drivers.
In addition to the back wages and damages, the judgment requires the business and the two owners, to pay $14,360 in civil money penalties for the willful overtime violations and $4,266 for the child labor violations.
“Olympia Pizzeria denied its workers their rightful wages by not paying them overtime as required by federal law. Unfortunately, this type of violation is common in the food service industry and deprives too many hard-working people of their full pay,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director James Cain in Philadelphia. “Employers have a legal obligation to properly pay their employees, as well as protect the young workers they employ.”
“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to using all available enforcement tools to ensure that workers are afforded the protections required by the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Deputy Regional Solicitor of Labor Samantha Thomas in Philadelphia.