Vincent's Pizzeria & Grill to Pay $268K

Vincent’s Pizzeria & Grill to Pay $268K

Vincent’s Pizzeria & Grill and Owner (s) Must Pay $268,000 for Unpaid Overtime Wages and Damages After a Court Order Follows a Federal Investigation.

US Department of Labor also found child labor violations at Vincent’s Pizzeria & Grill.

COLLEGEVILLE, PA (STL.News) A Collegeville restaurant (Vincent’s Pizzeria & Grill) and its owners must pay $268,660 in back wages, liquidated damages, and punitive damages to satisfy a consent judgment obtained by the US Department of Labor after an investigation into the employers’ illegal pay practices.

The action follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found that Aston CC LLC, operating as Vincent’s Pizzeria & Grill, and owners George El Roueiheb and Vicken Mouchlin, willfully violated federal law by failing to pay kitchen workers time and one-half for hours over 40 in a workweek.  The division also determined the employers paid a cashier and delivery drivers for overtime hours separately in cash but failed to pay the required overtime rate.  The employers also did not maintain time and pay records for employees; they paid fully or partially in cash.

Investigators also found that the restaurant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s anti-retaliation provision by firing three employees who complained to the employers about their overtime pay practices.  The consent judgment requires them to pay $9,000 in punitive damages to be distributed to the affected employees for unlawful retaliation.

During its investigation, the division also discovered the restaurant and its owners employed three children to work in occupations defined as hazardous for young workers.  Specifically, the employers tasked a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old to operate a meat slicer and two 17-year-olds to operate a vertical dough mixer.  In addition, the employers allowed one child under 16 to work more than 8 hours when school was not in session, another FLSA violation.  The investigation also concluded the employers failed to maintain records of the dates of birth of employees under age 19 and daily and weekly hours worked for three children.

“The Fair Labor Standards Act does not permit employers to deny overtime pay or jeopardize the safety of young workers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director James Cain in Philadelphia.  “Food service industry employers must comply with federal wage and child labor laws to avoid violations like the ones found in this case.  Learning new skills in the workforce is an important part of growing up, but we must protect children and ensure their first jobs are safe and do not interfere with their education or well-being.”

In addition to the back wages and damages, the judgment entered by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania requires Vincent’s Pizzeria & Grill, El Roueiheb, and Mouchlin to pay $9,323 for the child labor violations and $6,657 in civil money penalties for the willful overtime violations.  The judgment also requires the employers to comply with the FLSA’s anti-retaliation, child labor, overtime, and minimum wage provisions in the future.

“We will hold employers legally accountable when they fail to comply with federal laws that protect workers’ rights to their full wages and ensure young employees work during permitted hours in safe jobs,” said Acting Regional Solicitor of Labor Samantha Thomas in Philadelphia.

SOURCE: US Department of Labor


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