November 16, 2008
Delivery Men for New York Restaurants Awarded $4.6 Million
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

Thirty-six delivery men for various Vietnamese restaurants in New York City were awarded more than $4.6 million in back pay and damages in a recent case Ke, et al. v. Saigon Grill, Inc., et al., SDNY, 07cv2329 MHD, 10/21/2008. The court found that the defendants’ testimony was not credible as to hours worked by and wages paid to the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs had testified that they worked hours in excess of forty per week without receiving overtime pay and were not compensated at the minimum wage, both in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); they stated that unlawful deductions from their pay were made by the defendants as supposed fines for things like late deliveries or failure to complete side work; they claimed entitlement to reimbursement for expenses incurred for bicycles and motorcycles used in the deliveries; they alleged retaliatory terminations for asserting their intention to pursue an FLSA complaint; and they sought additional pay under a New York state law that requires employees whose workday is longer than ten hours to receive “one hour’s pay ‘at the basic minimum hourly wage’”. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on all these arguments and also ruled that the defendants’ failure to post any FLSA notices explaining the provisions of the law and the employees’ rights thereunder resulted in a suspension of the statute of limitations until the plaintiffs received notice of their rights. This equitable tolling doctrine allowed plaintiffs to claim back wages for a period of eight years, not the two or three years ordinarily allowed under the FLSA. Vision Payroll strongly recommends employers consult their labor law attorney to review their minimum wage, overtime, and deduction policies to ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws.


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