Million In Back Wages To Be Distributed To Hundreds Of Employees Of Williamsburg Food Factory

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that he is accepting claims from workers employed by Tuv Taam food factory in Williamsburg as part of a settlement that provides for close to one million dollars to be set aside for payment of minimum wage and overtime for the period of April 1996 to August 2001.

Current and former employees of Tuv Taam have until December 31, 2003, to file claims with the Attorney General's Office. Claims can be requested by calling the Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8691 (Spanish), (212) 416-6340 (Polish) or (212) 416-8700 (Receptionist) and leaving a message with their name, mailing address and telephone number.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Attorney General will review the claims and determine the amount of minimum wage and overtime owed to each claimant and will direct payments to workers from a fund of $921,407.12 set aside by Tuv Taam. Depending on how many individuals with valid claims come forward, workers will receive an additional damages award of 25% to 50% of their minimum wage and overtime underpayments..

"Workers are entitled the full protection of state and federal labor laws," Spitzer said. "This case is part of our continuing effort to enforce these laws and ensure that all workers are compensated fairly."

Tuv Taam, located at 502 Flushing Avenue, does business under several names, including: King Edward Food Distribution Corp.; Kosher Gourmet Glatt, Inc.; Kosher Gourmet; S and T Distributors; Schwartz's Pickles; and Taim. The companies make processed foods such as blintzes, prepared salads, hummus and other items.

The investigation found that Tuv Taam paid some employees as little as $4 per hour, and that other workers who logged 50-70 hours per week received no overtime pay.

The case was handled Labor Bureau Assistant Attorneys General Teri Gerstein and Pico Paul Ben-Amotz and Bureau Chief M. Patricia Smith.