BEACH HAVEN – The Chicken or the Egg restaurant has paid its dues following a $768,548 fine from the US Department of Labor for overtime and visa violations.
An investigation by the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) revealed that the popular LBI eatery violated overtime requirements by paying its employees in cash for any hours worked over 40 hours per week. By doing this, they avoided paying employees the require time and a half.
The Chicken or the Egg owner, Cramark Inc., was required to pay “$768,548 in back wages, liquidated damages, and penalties for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program,” according to a press release from the US Department of Labor dated Feb. 28.
A representative from the labor department confirmed to The Sandpaper that the restaurant has paid back all damages and penalties associated with the violations.
The payment included $359,077 in back wages and repayment to 23 employees, $7,792 in back wages to H-2B visa employees, and a civil penalty of $42,602, according to the department.
Not only did the owner violate overtime requirement but the investigation also found that it violated the H-2B visa program. The owner failed to provide each H-2B employee with a written statement accurately listing that person’s total earnings each workweek. They also allowed three H-2B employees to work as bussers, while were approved to work only in food preparation under the employer’s official application.
“The employer paid these employees less than the prevailing wage rates required for H-2B workers in Ocean County, New Jersey,” stated the release.
According to The Chicken or The Egg staff, the restaurant will be up and running for their 29th summer season come April 18.