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Former waitress says boss didn't pay her overtime for long shifts

Except for those employees who are exempt from overtime, if someone works more than 40 hours in one week in New York, he or she is entitled to 1 1/2 times his or her normal wage for every hour worked over the 40-hour limit. The problem is, however, that many employers dispute how much an employee worked, whether he or she is exempt, or what the rate of overtime pay should be. If an employer refuses to pay an employee what he or she is due, the employer may have to defend against a wage and hour lawsuit in court.

And that is what the owner of the Caffee Palermo in Manhattan is doing after he has been accused of failing to pay a former waitress the overtime pay she says she is due. The lawsuit claims that the waitress was forced to work seven days a week for months, each day working 11-hour shifts. Had she been paid overtime for the 37 hours each week she worked above the 40-hour limit, she might have been earning a decent income, but she says the owner never paid her the time and a half.

Not only did the Bronx waitress claim her former boss failed to pay her overtime, but she also has said that he sexually harassed her. The owner forced himself upon the waitress, making inapporpriate comments and making her go out with him.

No one deserves to be shorted on their wages or to be sexually harassed at work. Sadly, that is a reality for many people in the workforce. Though it may be a challenge, employees who do have wage, hour or sexual harassment complaints can file lawsuits against their employers.

Source: New York Post, "Reputed mobster 'cannoli king' sexually harassed waitress: suit," Jamie Schram, April 30, 2014

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