By Philip Newman
The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a Queens-based supermarket chain to pay more than $372,000 in wages and fines to employees, including 18 “vulnerable” grocery baggers, some of whose only pay was tips from grocery customers.
The federal agency reported that NSA Supermarket, NSA Golden Mango and Met Food , based in Glendale, agreed to pay $372,172 in back wages and liquidated damages to the baggers at 17 neighborhood stores.
“These employees worked for less than the minimum wage at stores in Brooklyn and Queens,” according to the federal agency’s Wage and Hour Division.
Two baggers, who assist cashiers, were paid a minimal weekly salary.
“Supermarkets that underpay their employees also undercut those employers who elect to obey the law and pay lawfully required wages,” said Maria Rosado, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s New York City office. “This settlement applies to all 17 stores. We welcome this employer’s commitment to enterprise wide compliance and encourage other employers to follow suit in ensuring that they comply with federal wage laws at all locations.”
One store in Corona was involved in the case along with another in Glendale and 15 others in Brooklyn, Haverstraw, N.Y., and Patterson, N.Y. The chain also has stores in Little Neck and Flushing, which were not cited.
The supermarket chain agreed to post signs informing workers of their rights in English and Spanish at conspicuous locations in all stores and comply with the $7.25-per-hour minimum wage, as well as overtime, record keeping and anti-retaliatory provisions of the ruling.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 718-260-4536.