Conn. labor officials fine Mystic Pizza for below-minimum wage, failure to pay overtime

Associated Press

The Connecticut Department of Labor has ordered Mystic Pizza, made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie of the same name, to pay 110 employees more than $105,000 in wages for being paid less than minimum wage or not receiving overtime pay.

State investigators responded to three complaints and accused John Zelepos, owner of Mystic Pizza, of paying cooks, dishwashers and hosts $5.69 an hour and others $7.40 an hour. Connecticut's minimum wage is $8.70 an hour.

Continue Reading Below

Zelepos did not immediately return a call Friday seeking comment.

The investigation also found that employees were not paid overtime for up to 93 hours a week. In most cases, Zelepos paid the workers in cash for the additional hours worked and did not record the correct overtime, state officials said.

In addition, the Labor Department is investigating a related complaint of alleged retaliation when one worker was fired after contacting the state about the accusations of wage violations, said Gary K. Pechie, wage and workplace standards director.

"Every employee deserves to be paid the required amount for the work that they do, and this is a flagrant example of an employer taking advantage of their workforce," Pechie said.

Zelepos must pay $23,400 in civil penalties for 155 violations of state law related to minimum wage and overtime, the Labor Department said.