A restaurant in Fort Lee was ordered to pay more than $300,000 after authorities say the employer’s pay practices shortchanged 63 workers.
In a May 15 press release, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) said an investigation by its wage and hour division determined Aquarius Restaurant Group Corp. – which operates Aquarius Seafood Restaurant on Main Street – violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by:
In addition to recovering $150,805 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, the DOL said it assessed $35,274 in civil money penalties.
In a statement, Paula Ruffin, North Jersey district director of the wage and hour division office in Mountainside, said, “Most people employed in the restaurant industry work long hours to support themselves and their families and they have the right to be paid all of their earned wages. Aquarius Restaurant Group Corp. failed to fulfill their legal responsibilities and has faced the costly consequences for shortchanging their employees.”
Aquarius Restaurant Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
In Fiscal Year 2022 – which is when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported near record numbers of openings in the hospitality industry amid a surge of resignations – the DOL said its wage and hour division recovered more than $27.1 million for over 22,000 food service workers.d