The owner of Village Pizza and Grill, 56 L St., has agreed to pay back wages to workers not paid time and a half for working overtime - or sometimes at all - and to pay fines for letting teens work excessive hours and sometimes with hazardous equipment.
US District Court Judge Leo Sorokin today signed a consent order to end a suit by the US Department of Labor against Klaundjon Totoni and the restaurant.
The Labor Department sued them last year on behalf of workers, including delivery drivers, some of whom had to spend 30 minutes at the end of their shifts cleaning the restaurant without getting paid and others who had to shop for the restaurant before the start of their shift, also without payment. In its suit, the department added one driver was never paid at all for the 29 hours he worked in his last week there. Also:
[A] counter employee worked approximately fifty-five (55) hours per week during the weeks between September 19, 2014 and September 16, 2016 and was not paid the overtime premium for hours over 40 per week. Another example is a delivery driver who worked approximately seventy-two (72) hours per week during the time period between September 19, 2014 and September 16, 2016 and was not paid the overtime premium for hours over 40 per week.
The government also alleged Totoni lied to investigators - claiming one worker was his father (he was not) and that he did not employ anybody under 19:
[D]uring the approximate period between April 29, 2016 and July 29, 2016, the defendants allowed a seventeen (17) year old employee use a dough mixer approximately once per day in violation of 29 CFR 570.82. Defendants, during the approximate period between May 6, 2016 and July 29, 2016, allowed a fifteen (15) year old employee use a meat slicer in violation of 29 CFR 570.33(e) and a dough mixer in violation of 29 CFR 570.82. Defendants also during the same approximate period allowed a fifteen (15) year old employee to work more than eight (8) hours and after 9:00 pm in the summer, and more than eighteen (18) hours a week during a school week., in violation of 29 CFR 570.35(a).
In addition to the $231,683 in back wages - and the taxes for them - Totoni agreed to pay $16,634 in fines for the child-labor violations and $8,317 in fines for the wage violations. He also has to hire a consultant to develop a formal bookkeeping system for tracking workers' hours and pay.