Prominent Boston restaurant owners the Lyons Group has agreed to pay $424,000 in back wages to hundred of employees due to alleged violations reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, says the Boston Business Journal. The Lyons Group is reported to run 15 restaurants, including Sonsie and Towne, but the violations aren't its fault, says Lyons Group head Patrick Lyons, who has drafted a statement warning other restaurant owners about the dangers of sourcing labor from contractors. Especially ones that, as it happened in this case, don't comply with regulations. The statement notes that the labor provider used by the Lyons Group has gone out of business and "allegedly failed to comply with overtime pay requirements."
Meanwhile, Boston.com previously reported that 30 local restaurants owed a collective $1.3 million to nearly 500 employees. Shortly after, a representative for the MET Restaurant Group contacted Eater with a response much like that of Patrick Lyons, saying they were "a victim of an employment staffing company scam from a third party."
A representative from the labor department tells the Globe that "The use of contract labor providers in the restaurant industry has increased over the past several years, along with violations."
So are the restaurant groups who compensate their employees to be applauded for cleaning up after the mess created by subcontractors, or are they to fault for using such services? Have you been involved in a settlement resulting from a faulty third party labor contractor? Share any stories via the tipline or leave your thoughts in the comments.
· Lyons Group to Repay Worker Overtime [BBJ]
· Lyons Group Staff Get $424,000 in Back Pay [BG]
· MET Restaurant Group Responds to Wage Accusations [~EBOS~]
· 34 Boston-Area Restaurants Owe Back Wages [Boston.com]