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Labor Agency: Upper Crust Pizzeria Owes Workers $850,000

Labor department claims Boston restaurant chain cheated workers.

 

The U.S. Labor Department filed court papers claiming that Upper Crust pizzeria owes workers $850,000 in back wages, according to a Boston Globe report.

The company, founded on Beacon Hill in 2001, was found in a federal investigation to have violated minimum-wage and overtime laws between April 2009 and January 2011, largely by exploiting immigrant workers. This came on the back of a 2009 Labor Department investigation which ended in an order to pay workers $350,000 in back overtime. 

Those court judgements were before the West Roxbury's Upper Crust Pizzeria opened up, which will remain open. 

"We're a locally and independent owned business. Please keep on supporting us," said Santangelo. The West Roxbury Upper Crust is very involved with the community through donating food for fundraisers, and Holy Name School students take field trips to the pizzeria just a stone's throw away to learn how to make pizza.

Upper Crust founder Jordan Tobins allegedly came up with a scheme to recoup this money by lowering employees' wages or firing them if they refused to give the mandated compensation back, the Globe reported. What followed was a 2010 class-action lawsuit and another Labor Department investigation.

Upper Crust Pizza filed for bankruptcy last month. The company defaulted on a loan in September and owes at least $3.4 million, according to the Boston Globe.

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