The owners of the Garelick & Herbs restaurants in Fairfield County were forced to pay $116,087 in back wages and liquidated damages to 35 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division identified violations of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The investigation determined that Jason and Paola Garelick, who own the Garelick & Herbs restaurants in Greenwich, New Canaan, Saugatuck and Westport, violated federal overtime requirements by paying hourly employees straight time rates for the hours beyond the 40-hour workweek. They also paid kitchen staff on a shift or salary basis, which created overtime violations when these employees worked more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtimes. The Garelicks were also cited for failing to maintain proper records of the number of hours worked by kitchen employees.
In addition to paying the back wages and damages, the Garelicks agreed to provide their employees with a written leave and overtime policy and to provide compliance training to all managers at all their restaurants related to overtime requirements.
“Employees must receive all the wages they have earned,” Wage and Hour Division District Director David R. Gerrain said. “These types of violations can be avoided. We encourage employers to reach out to us for information and assistance in understanding their responsibilities.”