EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A restaurant was forced to pay nearly $40,000 in back wages and damages to former and current employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division had been looking into Nolita Ristorante in East Hartford.
Of the $39,314 in payments made, owner Vishal Sharma had to pay $19,657 in back wages.
Officials said their investigation found that the employers failed to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all of the hours that the 14 former and current employees worked.
They said some dishwashers and hosts were paid flat weekly salaries that failed to cover all of the hours they worked at minimum wage. Overtime violations were also found.
The restaurant also failed to keep accurate payroll records, as is required by law.
“Employers must pay their employees all the wages they have legally earned,” said David R. Gerrain, wage and hour district director in Hartford. “Our goal is to ensure that employers have the tools they need to comply with the law, which levels the playing field for law-abiding competitors in the restaurant industry.”
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve the violations without litigation through the labor department's PAID program.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Information is also available on the labor department's website here, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.