WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — A popular restaurant on Richmond Road in Williamsburg intentionally shortchanged 62 employees more than $120,000 in overtime pay, the Department of Labor says.
The DOL announced Thursday that it had obtained a consent judgement in Virginia federal court with Food for Thought restaurant. As part of the judgement, Food for Thought has to pay $102,590 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, as well as $50,034 in civil money penalties.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found FFT Restaurant Group LLC, the operator of Food for Thought, and its owner Howard Hopkins paid kitchen staff straight time rates for all hours worked, denying them overtime rates. The DOL says Hopkins and FFT also failed to keep accurate records of employees’ hours worked and didn’t display federal minimum wage posters as required.
“Our investigation found that the employer did not pay some employees their hard-earned overtime pay, which is unacceptable,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Roberto Melendez. “Many restaurant workers struggle to make ends meet and they deserve to be paid for all hours worked. Employers who shortchange their employees will be held accountable.”
Food for Thought is also forbidden from any future Fair Labor Standards Act violations going forward.