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Benavides v. Verdi Equities, Inc., et al.; Case No.: 20-cv-00850

Judge grants Conditional Certification of Collective Action in the Eastern District of New York

Benavides v. Verdi Equities, Inc., et al.; Case No.: 20-cv-00850 

As previously reported on this website, in Benavides v. Verdi Equities, Inc.; Case Number:20-cv-00850, on February 20, 2020, Lead Plaintiff, Mr. Benavides, on behalf of himself, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly-situated, filed a collective action lawsuit in the United States District Court Eastern District of New York against VERDI EQUITIES, INC., (“Verdi’s of Queens”), and R.G.G. ENTERPRISES, INC (“Verdi’s of Westbury”, both entities, together where appropriate, as “Verdi’s” or “the Restaurant”), and GIUSEPPE “JOE” ROCCO, individually, and JOHN SACCO, individually, and ROCCO SACCO, individually, (all, collectively, as “Defendants”) alleging deliberating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) and the New York Comp. Codes, Rules, and Regulations (“NYCCRR”), including the failure of Defendants to compensate Plaintiffs for overtime wages. The claims of the case are referenced in our December 2020 blog post and are reviewed as follows:

  • Plaintiff Benavides previously worked and currently works for Defendants – – two corporate entities that together operate two restaurants in Queens and Westbury as a single business entity, as well as three of the entities’ owners and day-to-day overseers – – as a cook, first from March 2014 to May 26, 2019, and then again from June 20, 2019 to present;
  • Throughout his employment, Defendants willfully failed to pay Plaintiff the overtime wages lawfully due to him under the FLSA and the NYLL
  • Defendant routinely required and require Plaintiff to work beyond forty hours in a workweek, but paid and continued to pay him a flat weekly salary regardless of how many hours he works in a week, which operates by law to over only his first forty hours of work in a week;
  • Defendant failed and continue to fail to pay Plaintiff spread-of-hours compensation of one hour’s pay at the minimum wage rate on those days when his spread of hours exceeds ten during a given day from beginning to end.

Defendant violated Plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed to him by the overtime provisions of the FLSA, the NYLL and the NYCCRR.  Additionally, Defendant violated the NYLL by failing to provide Plaintiff with accurate wage statements on each payday or with any wage notice at the time of his respective hires, let alone an accurate one.

Certification of Collective Action

In this case, pursuant to the request of the Plaintiffs, the Judge reviewed claims that the Plaintiffs brought forward alleging that there are additional workers in the same “class” (performing the same or similar duties) whose rights have been violated.  On April 19, 2021, Plaintiffs’ motion for approval of a collection action was granted, allowing the case to proceed as a collective action enabling any current and former employees who were not paid properly to join the lawsuit and seek redress for Defendants’ failure to compensate them in accordance with the law.

If you or a person you know worked for the Defendants named in the lawsuit during the time period of  February 17, 2014 – present or has information that may be relevant to this case, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. as soon as possible through one of our websites, www.employmentlawyernewyork.com, www.516abogado.com or any of our phone numbers: (516) 248-5550, (516) ABOGADO, and (212) 679-5000.

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