SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A popular pizza restaurant chain has paid $92,007 in back wages and an equal amount in damages to 103 current and former employees, as demanded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Peppino’s Neapolitan in Armory Square, the original Peppino’s Pizzeria on Grant Boulevard and the now-closed Honey Cafe inside the Billy Beez at Destiny USA all operate under the parent umbrella GV Foods.
Federal investigators uncovered that, between the summer of 2016 and the summer of 2018, Peppino’s had several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act:
- Requiring delivery drivers to pool tips with cooks and managers, who don’t earn tips.
- Instead of overtime added to their checks after forty hours of work, employees were paid straight-time cash
- The restaurant chain didn’t combine hours worked across its three locations, only paying overtime when workers got to 40 hours at each individual restaurant
- A salaried manager was denied his full pay when working fewer than 40 hours, disclosing that he was actually an hourly employee and owed overtime
“Other employers should use the resolution of this case as an opportunity to review their own pay practices,” says Wage and Hour Assistant District Director John Steves in Syracuse. “The U.S. Department of Labor provides numerous tools to help employers comply with the law, and we encourage employers and employees alike to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance. We will continue our work to level the playing field for employers, and to ensure workers are paid what they have earned.”
Peppino’s owner John Vigliotti did not offer a comment in response.
Workers for any company can report overtime or wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation online.
The Department of Labor has a toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
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