Bentley's Pancake House to Pay $110K After Investigation

Bentley’s Pancake House to Pay $110K After Investigation

Federal Judge Orders Bloomingdale Restaurant Operating as Bentley’s Pancake House to Pay 28 Employees $110,000 After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation.

(STL.News) The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the following information about Bentley’s Pancake House in Illinois accused of violating labor laws.  We publish these articles to help educate small business owners to realize the severity of intentionally or unintentionally violating labor laws.

Employers: Poros Inc., operating as Bentley’s Pancake House

Owners: Pete and Stavroula Giafis

Actions: Fair Labor Standards Act consent order and judgment

Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Investigation findings: On November 17, 2023, Judge Mary M. Rowland entered an agreed consent order and judgment requiring Poros Inc. – operating as Bentley’s Pancake House — and its owners, Pete and Stavroula Giafis to pay a total of $110,000 in tip violations, overtime back wages and liquidated damages to 28 workers.  The Bloomingdale restaurant must also pay $13,000 in civil money penalties for willful Fair Labor Standards Ac violations.

In a March 27, 2023 summary judgment, the court ordered the payment of $52,600 for the tip violations.  The consent judgment directs payment of an additional $57,600 in overtime back wages and liquidated damages.

After an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, the department’s Office of the Solicitor filed a complaint alleging the restaurant and its owners unlawfully kept servers’ tips, paid kitchen staff at their regular rates for hours over 40 in a workweek (instead of the legally required time and a half). They failed to keep accurate pay records from at least February 5, 2018, to February 2, 2022, which is also an FLSA violation.

As part of the consent judgment, the company and its owners must also end their practice of partial cash payments and provide employees with checks and payroll stubs showing hours worked, rates of pay, and withholdings.  The court also ordered them not to violate the FLSA in the future.

Quote: “Historically, the restaurant industry employs low-paid workers, and for these employees, each dollar earned is significant to them and their family’s economic survival,” said Wage and Hour District Director Tom Gauza in Chicago. “Every worker deserves to be paid for the hours they work and the overtime they earned.  Employers must know the wage laws that apply to their employees and pay them accordingly.”

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor


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