Brooklyn Caterer Faces Class Action for Grossly Underpaying Employees

A Brooklyn catering hall, Riviera Caterers Inc. is being sued by one of its former employees for egregious violations of minimum wage and overtime laws.  The suit seeks class action status to include other employees who claim they were paid less than $8 an hour, despite NYC minimum wage being $13.00.

Walter Benitez Diaz worked for Riviera from 2014 to late 2017 as a dishwasher, food preparer/kitchen helper and porter for its Brooklyn catering hall, according to the complaint.  Diaz claims he never received a written wage notice from Riviera during the entire time he worked for them.

Diaz further claims that he worked “six (6) or seven (7) days per week, and his work schedule consisted of seventeen (17) to nineteen (19) hours per day from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m., and at times until as late as 3:00 a.m.  He states that he was paid $7.50 per hour in cash for all hours worked.  Although he sometimes worked over 100 hours per week he ever received the required time and half for hours exceeding forty per week.  

During the time period Diaz was receiving $7.50 an hour, the applicable minimum wage in New York City was $13.00 an hour.

Believing there are more than forty other employees of Riviera who were also subjected to egregious underpayment of wages, Diaz seeks class action status to protect their interests as well.  In addition to minimum wage and overtime violations, the complaint alleges that Riviera failed to maintain accurate hour records and provide its workers with statements of wages, either at the time of hiring, or periodically, as required by New York law.

Diaz is represented by Cilenti Cooper of New York who brought the case in the Eastern District of New York.

Riviera did not return a message requesting comment.

Image Source: caffesargenti (Flickr)

Advertisements