Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are all restaurants like this? Troubling news from Park Slope

New York State Department of Labor inspectors checked 23 restaurants in Park Slope; 21 of them were paying workers below legal limits (press release). The Daily News had the story. The total documented wage theft (it's unclear how long a time period this covers) was $912,000.

Song, Olive Vine Cafe, Bogota, Red Hot, Rachel's Taqueria, you name it. Oy.

Department commissioner Patricia Smith says of the inspections:
"This is the future," she says. "We will be doing these type of proactive sweeps across the city, you can expect that within the next few years you may well be visited whether or not your employees file a complaint."
This is good news. As the criminologist types say, the deterrent of crime is not the severity of the penalty, but rather the likeliness (or perception of the likeliness) of being caught.

Oddly, the Labor Department's announcement got very little coverage in the NYC media. It's hard to imagine why all of the tabs wouldn't have covered it; usually they're all over something like this. Makes me wonder about the Labor Department's media operation, but who knows.

Also last week: the owner of H&H was indicted for stealing withholding taxes and evading unemployment insurance tax.


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