CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — A gourmet market in Cape Elizabeth was ordered to pay roughly $51,000 after being found in violation of wage and child labor violations after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.
A total of $36,106 in back wages and liquidated damages were recovered from C Salt Gourmet LLC for a total of 86 employees. The Cape Elizabeth cafe, bakery, and market "denied some workers their full wages and allowed minor-aged workers to perform hazardous jobs and work more hours than allowed by law," according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The business was also accused of improperly including managers in the employee tip pool and not paying overtime to two workers over their 40-hour workweek.
"An employer cannot keep employees’ tips under any circumstances; managers and supervisors also may not keep tips received by employees, including through tip pools," according to the Dept. of Labor. "This prohibition applies even if tipped workers are paid hourly at rates equal to or above the full minimum wage."
The Dept. of Labor said a total of 10 workers ages 14 and 15 were allegedly permitted to work more than the federal legal limit. Three of these workers were allowed to use an oven, and clean and operate a power-driven meat slicer; both in violation of child labor occupation standards.
The release also stated a 15-year-old was allowed to "use a deep-fat fryer not equipped with devices to automatically raise and lower the fry baskets, which are violations of child labor occupations standards."
The U.S. Department of Labor said it recovered $36,106 – $18,053 in back wages from C Salt Market during its investigation and an equal sum of liquidated damages for current and former employees.
A total of $14,928 in civil money penalties was also paid by C Salt Market for youth employment violations, the release said.