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City Busts 8 Grocers For Wage Violations

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Grocery baggers at eight supermarkets across the city have been working solely for tips, and that's a violation of state labor laws. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports:

REPORTER: The Department of Labor says six of the stores have agreed to pay more than $300,000 in lost wages to close to 40 workers. The agency says the practice of not paying baggers an hourly wage is likely more wide spread than that. Labor Department Investigator Rashid Allen says many workers don't realize they're entitled to more pay.

ALLEN: They think the boss is actually doing them a favor by letting them come in and get tips and work off the books and that kind of a thing.

REPORTER: A Key Food store and Pioneer Supermarket in Brooklyn are among those that have agreed to settle. Neither store would comment. The owner of a Fine Fare in the Bronx says he thought he was doing a good thing by letting the workers stay to make a little money. For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.

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