Mystic Pizza, the Connecticut restaurant immortalized in the 1988 film starring Julia Roberts, has been ordered to pay its employees $105,000 for labor violations, the Connecticut Department of Labor said Thursday.
The money will be split between 110 Mystic Pizza employees who investigators determined were paid less than minimum wage and did not receive overtime, CTNow.com reported
John Zelepos, the restaurant's owner, reportedly paid cooks, dishwashers, and hosts $5.69 per hour and others $7.40 per hour, the labor department found in its investigation.
Minimum wage for a 40-hour work week in Connecticut is $8.40, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The state's Wage and Workplace Standards Division reviewed the pizzeria's work from May 2012 to June 2014 and found that some employees worked as many as 93 hours a week and were not paid overtime. Zelepos reportedly paid some of those workers in cash and never recorded the correct hours.
"While there are many employers in our state paying their employees the proper wages, unfortunately, we find situations similar to this far too often," Wage and Workplace Standards director Gary K. Pechie said Thursday, according to Stonington-Mystic Patch site
"Every employee deserves to be paid the required amount for the work that they do, and this is a flagrant example of an employer taking advantage of their workforce. We encourage any individual who believes they have not been paid properly for hours worked to file a complaint with the Labor Department," Pechie's statement continued.
It was not the first time Mystic Pizza owners had run afoul of government regulators. In 2012, the Internal Revenue Service seized $63,084.49 from the Chelsea Groton Bank account of John Zelepos, George Zelepos, and Christos Zelepos, according to The Day newspaper.
At the time of the seizure, the IRS declined to give information on the investigation but The Day reported that the legal notice referred to a statute that addressed money laundering.
"We do procedures like this one in the normal course of our business," IRS spokeswoman Jessica Crocker told the newspaper in 2012.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.