U.S. Department of Labor

06/18/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2024 09:29

Department of Labor recovers $84K in back wages, damages from Jersey Shore steakhouse owner who willfully denied full pay to 13 workers

News Release

Department of Labor recovers $84K in back wages, damages from Jersey Shore steakhouse owner who willfully denied full pay to 13 workers

Intentional wage theft leads to $4K in civil penalties for overtime violations

BELMAR, NJ - The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $84,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 13 workers and assessed $4,459 in penalties after its investigation determined a Jersey Shore steakhouse owner violated federal overtime regulationsdeliberately.

Investigators with the department's Wage and Hour Divisionlearned Dariusz Targonski, the owner of Flames Brazilian Steakhouse in Belmar, paid hourly employees straight-time wages for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek when an overtime rate applied. The division also found that the employer failed to pay non-exempt, salaried employees overtime and did not maintain required payroll records.

"People employed in the restaurant industry often work long hours to support themselves and their families and they deserve to be paid the wages they've earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Charlene Rachor in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. "Wage theft is a serious issue and the U.S. Department of Labor is determined to hold industry employers like Dariusz Targonski accountable when they mistakenly believe they can violate workers' rights and gain an unfair advantage over their competitors."

The back wages recovered and damages and penalties assessed resolved the employer's willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search toolto use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers and employers can call the division confidentially with questions at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Workers and employers can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department's Android and iOS Timesheet App for free, which is available in English and Spanish.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
June 18, 2024
Release Number
24-1129-NEW
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Phone Number
215-861-5101
Media Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone Number
215-861-5102
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