HARTFORD, CT — A U.S. District Court in Connecticut recently accepted a settlement between a Hartford-area restaurant and the Labor Department to resolve claims the company failed to pay workers for all their hours of work, particularly overtime, and other violations of federal wage laws. As part of the consent decree, Fairfield Inc., doing business as Vinny’s Ale House, will pay back a combined $247,922 in in wages and damages to eight workers. Fairfield Inc also agreed to pay $2,992 in civil penalties as punishment.
“This settlement is about getting these employees the wages they legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director David Gerrain. “The Division encourages all employers to access the many compliance resources we offer, and avoid the liabilities that can come with breaking the law.” A copy of the overtime pay lawsuit filed by the Labor Department can be found here.
According to an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the restaurant failed to pay workers one and a half times their average hourly wages for overtime pay. Instead, the company only paid these employees straight time in cash, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Furthermore, regulators determined that the company coached workers to lie to investigators and went as far as to intimidate others.
“Businesses that violate the law gain a competitive advantage over law-abiding employers,” said the Department’s Regional Solicitor Michael Felsen, in Boston. “We will vigorously enforce the law to level the playing field for companies that play by the rules and to safeguard employees’ hard-earned wages.”
The employer also failed to maintain accurate time records, failed to produce records of the cash payments, maintained two sets of time records, and provided inaccurate records to investigators. The case is another example of the length many restaurants will go to keep overhead down at the expense of hard-working employees trying to earn a living for themselves and provide for their families.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.