Manhattan Pizzeria Owner Indicted on Wage Theft Charges

 The owner and manager of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria were indicted in New York state court for charges of wage theft from seven of their employees. The owner and manager were charged with a scheme to defraud in the first degree and for seven counts of failure to pay wages in accordance with New York Labor Law.   

Between August 2017 to August 2023, the restaurant stole wages from at least seven pizza makers, salad preppers, busboys, and dishwashers. According to prosecutors, workers were given paychecks that bounced, were sent partial payments through money transmitting apps such as Zelle and were paid “far less” than state minimum wage, were not paid overtime, or were not paid at all. One bus boy was scheduled to receive $10 per hour, less than the current NYC minimum wage of $16 per hour.  

Employees frequently asked both the owner and manager about their wages owed and overtime, and according to text messages between management and employees, they were told they would receive wages but were eventually not paid. Employees asked at least three more times but received no response. In another instance, the restaurant gave one employee who had worked at the pizzeria for six years was given a signed “IOU” letter saying, “I OWE YOU $4,559.” Grimaldi’s never ended up paying the wages owed. 

An investigation into Grimaldi’s commenced when multiple complaints of wage theft were lodged with the newly launched Worker Protection Unit at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office about alleged wage theft. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated, “Again and again, we allege, the owner and manager of Grimaldi’s lied to their workers, underpaid them and exploited them, ultimately taking more than $30,000 of their hard-earned wages.”  

Pechman Law Group has recovered over 30 million dollars for restaurant workers who have been cheated out of their minimum wage and overtime pay. Just recently, the firm settled a $110,000 wage theft case against popular Richmond Hill pizzeria, Paul Michael’s. If you believe you are the victim of wage theft, feel free to contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500.


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