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Fairfield County Restaurants Pay $116,087 In Back Wages To 35 Employees After DOL Investigation

Garelick & Herbs in Fairfield County.
Garelick & Herbs in Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

Four Fairfield County restaurants have paid out more than $115,000 in back wages and damages to nearly three dozen employees for violating overtime regulations.

Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), four Garelick & Herbs restaurants and its owners have paid out a total of $116,087 in back wages and liquidated damages to 35 employees for violating the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The four restaurants - Garelick & Herbs in Westport, Greenwich, New Canaan and Saugatuck - and owners Jason and Paola Garelick, were found violating overtime requirements when they paid hourly employees straight time rates for hours they worked beyond 40 in a work week.

The investigation also found that the owners paid their kitchen staff on a shift or salary basis, resulting in additional overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours a week, but were not paid overtime.

The Garelicks were also cited for records keeping violations and failing to maintain records of the number of hours worked by employees.

In addition to the back wages and damages, the Garelicks agreed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, adopt and distribute to a written leave and overtime policy, and to provide compliance training to all managers at all their restaurants.

“Employees must receive all the wages they have earned,” Wage and Hour Division District Director David 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.”

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