Restaurant workers shortchanged during COVID awarded $230K

Midwest

A restaurant employee cleans a plexiglass table divider while preparing for outdoor dining service in Manhattan Beach, California, November 21, 2020 a few hours before the start of the new 10:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew during increased Covid-19 restrictions. – The United States surpassed 12 million Covid-19 cases today, according to the Johns Hopkins University real-time tracker. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Employees of a Minneapolis restaurant group will receive the money they were denied after the company laid off workers during the COVID-19 shutdowns without giving them their final paychecks.

A settlement completed Thursday between Bartmann Companies and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office will ultimately provide $230,000 in back pay, overtime and damages to its employees. The group operates eight neighborhood restaurants, including Trapeze, Barbette, Tiny Diner and Red Stag Supperclub.

In addition to the missed payroll, investigators found that Bartmann had failed to compensate workers for overtime hours.

The attorney general’s office said Bartmann had paid some money since the investigation began in March 2020. The remainder is in the form of damages and will be turned over for distribution to more than 200 workers.

Bartmann neither admits nor denies wrongdoing as part of the agreement. A $100,000 civil penalty will be put on hold unless the company violates wage laws again in the next eight years.

“The real number is not how much total, it’s how much it means to the family budget of the victim,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said. “Imagine being the family that didn’t get that extra 100 or 200 or 300 bucks in your check that week that you worked for.”

An email from Minnesota Public Radio News seeking comment from Bartmann was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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