A.G. Recovers $300k From Long Island Beverage Distributor For Failure To Pay Workers Legal Wages
Schneiderman: Hard-Working Employees Cheated Out Of Overtime Pay Will Receive More Than $250K
NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement agreement with Superstar Beverage, which operates eight retail beverage outlets in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, for failure to pay overtime wages to employees. Under the agreement, Superstar Beverage paid the Attorney General's Office $300,000, including $265, 000 for distribution to approximately 15 underpaid current and former workers, plus $35,000 in penalties to the state.
“When companies assign work weeks of over 40 hours, they are required to follow the state’s overtime laws,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “Many of Superstar beverage workers were required to work 50-plus hours a week with no overtime pay. Under this agreement, Superstar will pay workers for work they performed.”
Under New York State's overtime laws, which covers most workers, employers must pay employees 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked past 40 in a given week and they must pay an additional hour of pay to employees who work more than 10 hours in a single shift.
An investigation by Attorney General Schneiderman’s office revealed that, from July 2006 to July 2012, Superstar Beverage employees routinely worked fifty or more hours per week but the company paid the same hourly rate of pay for all hours worked. The investigation also revealed that Superstar Beverage failed to keep required employee-specific records documenting actual hours worked and wages paid in each week.
The settlement requires Superstar Beverage to create records and institute policies that ensure proper payment under the law and bars Superstar Beverage from retaliating against employees for cooperating with the investigation. The Attorney General’s office will continue to monitor Superstar Beverage's employment practices to ensure compliance.As a result of the investigation, Superstar Beverage reduced the work hours of its workforce and hired additional employees.
Complaints in this case were referred to the Attorney General's Office by the advocacy group Workplace Project.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Rachael C. Anello of the Suffolk Regional Office, under the supervision of Andrew J. Elmore, Section Chief of the Labor Bureau; Terri Gerstein, Bureau Chief of the Labor Bureau; Kimberly Kinirons, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Suffolk Regional Office; Marty Mack, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Offices; and Janet Sabel, First Deputy Attorney General for Affirmative Litigation.