A wage theft lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor has resulted in a federal court ordering three bakeries located in Connecticut and New York to pay nearly $1 million in back wages and liquidated damages to 74 employees to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Department of Labor investigators found that Padaminas Bakeries owned by Pedro Coelho willfully violated the FLSA’s overtime requirements when they paid employees, primarily bakers and counter staff, who worked more than 40 hours per week straight time instead of time-and-a-half their regular pay rates. The employers also failed to keep records of employees’ work hours and compensation paid.
The Consent Judgment and Order, entered in the Connecticut Federal, requires the bakeries and his businesses to pay $952,433 – $476,216 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to the 74 affected employees. The employers also must pay $41,568 in civil money penalties to the department due to the violations’ willful nature. The order also prohibits the bakeries from violating the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping requirements and requires them to cooperate with department FLSA investigations and provide truthful responses, information and documents to investigators. It also prohibits the employer from soliciting employees to “kick back” the wages or liquidated damages.
“This is a significant recovery of back wages and liquidated damages for low-wage workers in Connecticut and New York, who were deprived of the hard-earned wages they rightfully earned and that their families need to make ends meet,” said a Department of Labor spokesperson. “Such violations are avoidable if employers take the time to know and understand their responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Wage theft is egregious and illegal.” The U.S. Department of Labor continues to pursue investigations and legal actions to ensure employees are properly compensated for their work and hold accountable those employers who refuse or fail to comply with the FLSA.”
In fiscal year 2021, the United States Department of Labor conducted more than 4,200 investigations in the food services industry, recovering $34.7 million for 29,209 workers. The FLSA requires that most employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
If you believe you are victim of wage theft, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 20 million dollars on behalf of workers who have been cheated out of their overtime or have been subjected to other unlawful pay practices.