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US Department of Labor seeks temporary restraining order against Huntley restaurant owners for intimidating workers during federal wage investigation | U S Department of Labor

☷US Department of Labor seeks temporary restraining order against Huntley restaurant owners for intimidating workers during federal wage investigation | U S Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Labor
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   US Department of Labor seeks temporary restraining order against Huntley restaurant , owners for intimidating workers during federal wage investigation Department also seeking more than $119K in back wages and liquidated damages CHICAGO – The U . S . Department of Labor has filed a complaint and has asked a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order against a Huntley restaurant and its owners for retaliating and intimidating workers illegally during an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division . Division investigators found that the empl......oyer – Papa G’s restaurant and owners Steve and Rick Tsakalios – told workers they did not have to speak with the investigators , questioned those who had about their discussions with investigators and created a chilling effect on worker cooperation . Filed in U . S . District Court for the Northern District of Illinois , the action asks the court to prevent the restaurant and the owners from interfering with a federal investigation into the employers’ pay practices . The department is also seeking to have Papa G’s pay $59 , 904 in back wages , and an equal amount of liquidated damages to employees . “Threatening or intimidating employees to prevent their cooperation with U . S . Department of Labor investigators is illegal , ” stated Regional Solicitor of Labor Christine Heri in Chicago . “Doing so discourages workers from asserting their rights and interferes with effective enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act . ” “Our request for a temporary restraining order in this matter shows the department will do everything in its power to protect workers’ rights , ” Heri added . In addition to the intimidation and interference , investigators allege Papa G’s willfully violated the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping provisions by producing falsified records showing employees rarely worked more than 40 hours per week . Investigators later obtained a second set of records showing employees worked far more than 40 hours per week and that the employer paid the workers in cash at a straight - time rate for their overtime hours . A warrant served on the employer’s accountant – Alphameric Accounting of Lincolnwood – recovered additional records that confirmed this practice . “As more workers choose to leave the food service industry , employers whose pay practices comply with the law have the advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining workers . Those employers who shortchange workers will likely find themselves without the people they need to operate their businesses , ” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Gauza in Chicago . The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 958 , 000 food and accommodation services workers left their positions in December 2021 . BLS also projects about 41 , 400 openings for food service managers each year , on average , from 2020 to 2030 . For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division , contact the division’s toll - free helpline at 866 - 4US - WAGE ( 487 - 9243 ) . Calls can be addressed in over 200 languages . Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division , including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division . Civil Action No . 3:22 - cv - 50141 Martin J . Walsh v . T . S . T . A . , Inc . , d/b/a Papa G’s and Rick and Tsakalios , and Steve Tsakalios


05 May 2022 ( May 05 2022 )



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US Department of Labor seeks temporary restraining order against Huntley restaurant owners for intimidating workers during federal wage investigation | U S Department of Labor
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