A popular Philadelphia restaurant must pay $396K in back wages and damages to 63 employees after it was found in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Talula’s Garden, located in the Washington Square neighborhood, agreed to pay employees nearly $200K in back wages, and an equal amount in damages to resolve alleged federal wage violations. This included forcing workers to work unpaid hours.
According to investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Local Wage and Hour Division, Talula’s Garden regularly required line cooks to do their prep work prior to the start of their scheduled shift. The same held true for bartenders and servers, who had to work without pay while preparing food and handling other tasks around the restaurant. Talula’s Garden management failed to keep accurate work hour records for the line cooks, bartenders, and servers.
Although the company agreed to the settlement, which requires approval by a federal judge, the owners of the restaurant released a statement citing their cooperation with the Department of Labor during the year-long investigation, and noted it was the first complaint Talula’s Garden had received of that kind. The owners stated that within days of receiving notice from a former employee, policies were put in place so that all employees clock in immediately upon entering the building, and unpaid work was to be not performed. Unfortunately, these practices are rampant in the restaurant industry. Low-paid workers are afraid to report their employers, fearing retaliation and termination.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The FLSA establishes the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, hours worked, and child labor. If the employee is subjected to both federal and state minimum wage laws, the employee will receive the higher wage rate. Overtime pay for non-exempt employees is issued when employees work over 40 hours a week at 1.5 times that of regular wages. This does not include holiday and weekend pay unless overtime is worked on those days. The FLSA also requires employers to keep records of employee pay and hours worked. Under federal law, employers must display an official FLSA poster informing employees of its provisions.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for the Rights of Workers
If you have been cheated out of your rightful wages by an employer ignoring the FLSA, you need the services of the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. We fight aggressively for your rights, and help you obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 for a free consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.