New York City Subway Franchise Will Pay Punitive Damages for Firing Worker Who Cooperated With Wage and Hour Investigation
On September 27th, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that a Subway franchise in New York City will pay $10,000 in punitive damages—as well as additional compensation for back pay—to an employee who was unlawfully retaliated against after they cooperated with a wage and hour investigation. Here, our New York retaliation lawyer explains what we know about the case and provides an overview of your right to report a suspected wage and hour violation.
Allegations: Fast Food Franchise in New York City Unlawfully Retaliated Against Employee
The DOL launched an investigation into NPK Foods Inc., a Subway franchise that operates a location in Manhattan. During its investigation, the DOL determined that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The company purportedly failed to pay the proper minimum wage to eighteen different employees. Three other employees were also denied the overtime pay that they earned in violation of the FLSA.
The company will also pay $10,000 in punitive damages to an employee who was retaliated against for cooperating with the wage and hour investigation. One employee was pressured by the employer into signing a false document stating that they had been paid full and fair wages for all of the hours that they worked. After the employee pushed back, they were fired by the employer. A form of unlawful retaliation under federal law.
Workers in New York City Have a Right to Report Wage and Hour Violations
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes basic wage and hour protection. for workers. An essential component of the FLSA is its anti-retaliation provision. The law is clear: Employees have a right to report suspected wage and hour violations. Here are key things workers in New York City should know about the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions:
- Protection from Retaliation: Employees are shielded from any form of retaliation by their employers for filing a complaint or participating in any legal proceedings under the FLSA. An employer cannot lawfully punish a worker because that worker exercised their rights under the FLSA.
- Coverage for Employees: All employees who work at an FLSA-covered employer are protected by the anti-retaliation provisions. This includes full-time workers, part-time workers, and seasonal employees.
- Penalties for Violations: Employers who violate the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA face substantial penalties, including paying damages to the affected employees. A retaliation claim is its own separate legal cause of action.
Get Help From a Workplace Retaliation Attorney in New York City
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New York City workplace retaliation lawyer is a strong advocate for justice. Employees should not face any adverse action for reporting wage and hour violations or any other issue in the workplace. If you were subject to unlawful retaliation we are here to help. Give us a phone call now or connect with us online to arrange your confidential initial consultation. Our employment lawyers fight for the rights and interests of employees throughout New York City.