DOL Brings Wage Theft, Retaliation Case Against Penn. Restaurant

The Department of Labor, as well as its Secretary, filed a complaint against Lupita’s Food LLC, Emilio Lopez, and Maria Guadalupe Rojas in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, alleging that the defendant restaurant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by retaliating against employees.

The complaint explains that on June 3, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor started investigating the defendants; the investigation was meant to determine whether the defendants paid their employees the required overtime. The investigators also sought to determine whether the defendants seized employee tips. However, the investigation revealed threats and intimidation, as well as withheld compensation, from employees engaging protected activity. The complaint also said that the defendants transported three employees from out of the country then demanded they pay for the alleged cost of the transportation through labor.

The agency is seeking an injunction preventing the defendants from violating FLSA, damages, and an order the defendants inform their employees that the defendants cannot retaliate against them for asserting their rights under the FLSA.