Hey, there! Log in / Register

Owners of Simco's hot-dog stands agree to repay employees they paid less than $7.25 an hour - and no overtime - over two years

The owners of the Simco's stands in Mattapan and Roslindale today acknowledged they paid 20 workers below even the federal minimum wage and refused to pay overtime, in a proposed settlement of a US Department of Labor complaint filed in US District Court in Boston.

If a judge agrees to the proposed agreement, owners Denise and Evangelos Fotopoulos will give the government $195,680.72, to be split among 20 workers both as back payments and damages. They also agreed to pay a fine of $14,980.

In a separate document filed with the agreement, the US Labor Department says the two not only "willfully failed" to pay the workers at least $7.25 an hour - the federal minimum wage - they made some employees work more than 40 hours a week without paying them time and a half for overtime, between September, 2019 and September, 2021. The government also says the two failed to keep "accurate employment-related records under the Fair Labor Standards Act."

In addition to agreeing to compensate the workers, the owners also agreed to obey federal wage laws from now on at the stands on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan and American Legion Highway in Roslindale.

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

This is in Massachusetts where the state minimum wage is $14.25 (currently) not $7.25. They should owe the employees the Mass min wage, not the federal one.

up
Voting closed 49

I suspect that since this was an investigation by the federal labor department, that's why the complaint focuses on federal laws.

I'll try to find out tomorrow if they're facing anything similar under state law.

But in either case, they were paying some of their workers less than $7.25 an hour. And we're not talking waitstaff - these are places where you order at a window and somebody hands you food.

up
Voting closed 52

...and at their *##$!& prices, they should be paying their people something more than minimum!

up
Voting closed 45

My first job, when I was in high school, in the 90s, was at Subway. I was paid $4/hour, even though minimum wage in Indiana at the time was $4.25. The owner’s rationale was that it was a restaurant and therefore, tips.

There was a rumor that someone working the late-night window on a weekend shift once got a tip from a drunk customer, but I certainly never got any the summer I worked there.

It looks like the Basic Combined Cash and Tip Min Wage in Massachusetts is $7.50 - a lot less than $14.25, but still more than the Federal minimum, so more than these workers were being paid.

up
Voting closed 13

In Massachusetts employees are supposed to earn at least the min wage including tips. So if they get paid the tip wage, if tips don’t bring them to the minimum the employer is responsible for the difference.

up
Voting closed 26

Maybe employees are speaking up and actually getting support these days but I’m skeptical.

In no restaurant I ever worked in would management have given a rat’s ass if you didn’t average min wage during a shift. Complaints led to more assigned sidework, worse seating and laughing in your face. “You get sucky tips because you’re a lousy server”. Or “you want more tables, you need to tip me too”.
No wonder the turnover, thieving and abuse the industry is known for.

up
Voting closed 15

Another place not to order from .

up
Voting closed 53

So THAT'S why they are too expensive. I thought it was because I lived next to my within-walking distance shopping plaza.

up
Voting closed 13

That sounds backwards to me...perhaps you meant to say something else?

Or maybe you're saying that, if a person cheats their employees, they'll cheat their customers too. That I'd buy.

up
Voting closed 11

The fine is $15k for ripping off people $200k? I don't get it.

up
Voting closed 34

This is why wage theft is way more common in America than you think. Employees are largely incentivized not to complain/report for fear of losing their jobs, and even if they do report, the penalty is basically "pay the employees twice the difference between the minimum wage and what you already gave them" and a slap on the wrist.

The proposed agreement shows that one of the employees was underpaid by a bit over $10,000 and the total underpayment was $98k. If one of the employees had stolen $98k or $10k from Simco's, they'd be in prison already, but employers can basically do it all they want knowing the worst that will happen is they'll get a stern talking-to and no allowance for a month.

up
Voting closed 45

I know Uhubbians hate acknowledging systemic oppression, but our legal system is literally set up to benefit and protect people who own property and businesses. Things like wage theft, improperly registering a business, tax fraud, etc. are typically at most punishable by fines, generally issued only to the business, and frequently are punishable only by having to make corrections with no ongoing record. Also, much of the onus is on the worker who is screwed over. They have to know how to report it and have the time and energy to pursue it. Meanwhile, if a commoner commits much pettier theft against a large corporation, they're punished by the state and face heavy punishment and a criminal record, further preventing them from life, liberty, and accruing wealth. Those who already have wealth can steal much more from the working class by forming a business and "making mistakes with the paperwork."

up
Voting closed 37

= "legal for rich people"

up
Voting closed 24

.

up
Voting closed 12

Have you thought about that? You claim to have the answers, but don’t act.

up
Voting closed 7

I assume you're blaming the Democrats in the Leg for this, and you're not wrong. But if we don't vote for Democrats, who do we vote for? Republicans are committed to making the situation worse. Given the structure of the electoral process, independents have slim chance of being elected without the Party's backing. It would be great if the Democrats offered us more progressive candidates. They largely are not doing that.

up
Voting closed 11

But expect a thrashing from robo anyway because it’s robo.

up
Voting closed 9

Poser bot strikes again.

up
Voting closed 4

and not just because I like that phrase.

up
Voting closed 18

Especially when judges hand it to landlords who violate security deposit laws.

up
Voting closed 9

I think the missing wages were 100k. another 100k in liquidated damages (effectively doubling the lost wages) , plus 15k fine.

So each employee basically got double what the owners stole from them.

-peter

up
Voting closed 12

This happened since 2019. Remember how desperate restaurants were for any kind of staff? In that environment, who would take a sub-minimum wage restaurant job? My guess is that these were all undeclared workers who were afraid of being deported if they asked for a fair wage. Despicable!

Simco's: You are dead to me.

up
Voting closed 31

That means the workers had completed tax forms, I-9 employment verification documents etc, all of which would be validated during the course of the investigation.

To suggest they were utilizing under the table workers is rather shitty without proof.

up
Voting closed 16

Upper Crust got nailed for wage violations 10 or so years ago and their pizza shall never pass my lips

up
Voting closed 17

We dismantled the empire of some d bag named Jordan who did this with Upper Crust, we will do it again. Just look out for the same side-step maneuvers here. (New corp names, new owners who are just straw owners for the old ones, etc.)

up
Voting closed 8

Simco's has been around much longer than Upper Crust. That being said - I don't know if current Simco's managers or ownership have any connection to Upper Crust.

up
Voting closed 6