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July 08, 2003
Restaurant Settles Child Labor Suits for $130K
Davy's Locker restaurant of New Bedford, Mass., has agreed to pay $130,000 in back wages and civil penalties to settle lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging violations of federal youth employment and overtime pay laws and the threatening of workers who cooperated with a federal wage and hour investigation.

The complaint, filed this January in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleged that the defendants willfully violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by employing workers for workweeks longer that 40 hours without paying them overtime wages; threatening adverse action against employees who cooperated with the department's Wage and Hour Division investigation; and employing young workers in violation of federal youth employment laws.

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Without admitting liability, the defendants have agreed to the terms of a consent judgment, which enjoins the defendants from future violations of the FLSA and orders them to pay 21 employees $20,800, including $13,825 in back wages and $6,975 in damages.

The defendants have also agreed to pay civil penalties for willful FLSA violations totaling $109,200.

The most serious child labor charges involved the employment of minors under 18 years of age to work at tasks prohibited under hazardous occupation orders, such as operating, setting up, adjusting or cleaning power-driven food slicers and grinders, and/or bakery-type dough mixers, according to the department.

Other charges alleged that 14 and 15-year-old workers were employed in excess of the legal hours and times permissible for this age group.


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