From: The NY State Dept. of Labor
(see also: National Employment Law Project NYC Study)
Investigation in Upscale Park Slope Neighborhood in Brooklyn
Department Makes Announcement as Part of National Wage Theft Day Commemoration
“In the vibrant Park Slope neighborhood, filled with writers, activists, and growing families, we found that many of the bustling restaurants were staffed by workers who were paid grossly illegal wages,” said Commissioner M. Patricia Smith. “This investigation shows that wage theft happens not only in dimly-lit factories or grim depressed neighborhoods -- it happens everywhere. Even our very nicest neighborhoods sometimes have sweatshops on their main streets. Today, during the National Day of Action to Stop Wage Theft, we continue to work for justice for these and other underpaid workers.”
New York State's minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and employers are required to pay overtime for weekly hours past forty at one and one-half times the employee's regular pay rate. In certain limited cases, employers are permitted to pay a lower, “tipped” rate to employees who receive tips. However, employers must pay the appropriate wage to tipped employees and may not expect them to work for tips only.
After inspecting the 25 [restaurants] in Park Slope, the Department expanded the cases to include two jointly owned restaurants in adjacent neighborhoods. In total, 207 workers were underpaid more than $910,000. Some of the worst violations were for delivery employees working 60 to seventy hours per week and paid a salary of $210.00 to 275.00 per week. At one restaurant, workers were paid as little as $2.75 per hour.