$610,000 Judgment for Failure to Pay Minimum Wage and Overtime to Employees Against Long Island Catering Hall, Restaurant, and Company's Officers

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring the payment of $610,000 in back wages, interest and penalties by Westbury Manor, including a finding that the catering hall and restaurant and its executives were in contempt of a 2005 court order for violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the department following an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division, which found that the catering hall and restaurant had failed to pay minimum wages and overtime premiums to employees, and had violated the recordkeeping and child labor provisions of the FLSA.

"The Labor Department will not allow employers to deny workers their hard-earned wages. We will use every enforcement tool available, including litigation, to bring violators to justice and secure unpaid wages for their employees," said Nancy J. Leppink, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. "We will vigorously pursue contempt charges against companies such as Westbury Manor that repeatedly and willfully break the law, without regard for the rights of our nation's workers."

The consent judgment, approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, acknowledges that the following parties are in contempt of court for not complying with a previous order by this federal court not to violate the FLSA: Westbury Manor Enterprises Inc., doing business as Westbury Manor and located at 1100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury, N.Y., and two officers of the company, Vincent Scotto and Gennaro Scotto. The judgment further enjoins Westbury Manor, Vincent Scotto, Gennaro Scotto, as well as company officer Luigi Scotto, from violating the FLSA in the future.

In its suit, the Labor Department alleged that Westbury Manor's dishwashers, cooks, waiters, busboys and bartenders were often paid less than the federal minimum wage. The employees also were required to work more than 40 hours, some in excess of 60 hours, during many weeks without being compensated properly for the overtime hours worked. Additionally, Westbury Manor did not keep accurate time and payroll records and, in many instances, maintained misleading records by reporting the same hours for kitchen employees each week for years at a time, even though their hours varied. The department further alleged that Westbury Manor had children ages 14 and 15 work longer hours than those permitted by federal child labor laws.

The Labor Department argued that these violations placed Westbury Manor, Vincent Scotto and Gennaro Scotto in contempt of a 2005 consent judgment that resolved a previous suit brought by the department to address similar violations of the FLSA and prohibited future violations of that act.

The judgment requires the defendants to pay $482,780 in back wages, $50,000 in prejudgment interest, $69,300 in civil money penalties for minimum wage and overtime compensation violations, and $7,920 in child labor penalties. In addition, the company must retain an independent monitor to ensure FLSA compliance and train employees on their rights under the act, and must provide training for supervisors and managers on the child labor regulations.

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