New York law firm files bogus wage claims
Company files bogus wage infringement lawsuits in Manhattan court.
Michael Faillace & Associates law firm in Manhattan has targeted restaurants and delis in New York with wage claims. In one case, the company filed a complaint with Luis Antonio Ortiz, who worked in a deli. He claimed he received compensation for 84 hours of weekly timing at the Prince Deli in Harlem from 2017 to 2018. Ortiz also alleged that he worked 84 hours a week for part of the same pay period in a Brooklyn deli, prompting him to obtain a default judgment.
Now, Prince Deli attorney Joshua Levin-Epstein has petitioned federal judge Edgardo Ramos for sanctions against Michael Faillace & Associates. Levin-Esptein said: “Our customer has a meritorious defense and we hope this case can be resolved quickly.”
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Unsplash
The law firm also filed another lawsuit against Tribeca Bagels, in which a former unnamed employee made false wage claims for his work record in order to win a verdict, according to U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla. “The worker made a timeline from all of the material,” explained the judge, adding, “Regardless of the memory errors that could be attributed to the passage of time, there is clearly a difference between four and a half weeks and eight months.”
Polk Failla ordered the clerk to forfeit the award and allowed Tribeca owners and attorneys to reimburse their legal expenses. Meanwhile, Faillace Company filed two wage claims on behalf of another undisclosed employee who worked overlapping hours for two different pizzerias over the same period and ended up paying the defendants’ legal fees.
Faillace said its unintended customers provide incorrect information. “They are telling us the wrong thing wrongly and we just have to be more careful. We check, but sometimes people miss the boat. He added that the law firm “receives hundreds of cases a year” which makes it difficult to double-check every detail.
Faillace has filed more than thirty wage lawsuits in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan since the first week of January 2021. He cites the state’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets standards including a 40-hour work week, minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping procedures, and minor work requirements. Overtime is typically billed as working hours more than 40 hours per week, and companies generally have to pay wages for the time worked.
It is important to note that the FLSA does not include any rights to vacation, vacation, severance pay or sick pay, meal or rest time, salary increases, or fringe benefits. Employers do not have to pay extra for weekend or vacation work. Some employees are exempt, but in most cases FLSA applies to state and state employees, as well as violations of FLSA overtime rights, which are usually resolved through legal proceedings or filing a complaint with the state or state Department of Labor. This is usually more time consuming. According to the company’s website, Michael Faillace & Associates handles Title VII cases, FLSA cases, ADA (Title I) cases, as well as cases involving the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and workplace privacy.
Hundreds of delicatessen stores and restaurants in NYC have been affected by lawsuits
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Michael Faillace & Associates