DOL Recovers More than $485,000 in Back Wages from New York Dollar Stores

The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $485,000 in minimum wages, overtime pay, liquidated damages, and post-judgment interest for approximately 120 employees of several New York City-area dollar stores. The dollar stores and their owners agreed to two partial consent judgments resolving the department's lawsuit over alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, including the failure to pay minimum wages and overtime.

"We took this legal action because, in the past, these defendants have professed to operate single establishments even though they are actually operating a large, multi-establishment retail enterprise with many locations," said Maria Rosado, director of the Wage and Hour Division's district office in New York City. "The defendants have been failing to properly pay employees even after investigations of individual establishments put them on notice of the law's requirements."

DOL filed suit last year in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York naming the following defendants: U.S. Dream Inc. of Iselin, N.J.; Dollar Program LLC doing business as 99 Cent Dreams of New York City; Dollar Super Inc. doing business as 99 Cent Dream of Brooklyn; Dollar One Inc. doing business as Dollar One of Brooklyn; Dollar Pack Inc. doing business as Dollar Pack of Bronx; Dollar Motion Inc. doing business as Dollar Motion of Brooklyn; Pitkin Dollar Store Inc. doing business as Dollar Xpress of Brooklyn; Dollar Does It Inc. doing business as Dollar Does It of Bronx; Dollar Moon Inc. doing business as Dollar Moon of New York City; Dollar Budget Inc. doing business as 99 Cent Dreams of Queens Village; and Dollar Street Inc. doing business as 99 Cent Dream of Jamaica, N.Y. Also named as defendants were the various owners of these companies, including Muhammad M. Abbasi, Mohammad S. Andha, Mohammed Memon, Basit H. Motiwala and Muhammad Irfan.

An additional company, Dollar Ship Inc., operated by defendant Muhammad M. Abbasi, also was found in violation of the FLSA and is included in this settlement.

The department filed the suit following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division which found that employees working at the companies' retail stores often were paid at hourly rates less than the federal minimum wage, and were required to work more than 40 hours in many weeks without being properly compensated. The investigation also found that the companies failed to maintain adequate and accurate records of their employees, wages, hours and other conditions of employment.

The consent judgments, entered by the court, permanently prohibit the defendants from future violations of the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and anti-retaliation requirements. The judgments order the defendants to pay the total of $485,607 owed in back wages and damages in accordance with a payment schedule. The defendants also are ordered to install timekeeping systems in their stores and train employees in their use, and to inform their employees of their rights under the law.

The New York District Office of the Wage and Hour Division conducted this investigation, and the case was litigated by the department's New York City Regional Solicitor's Office.

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