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Suit claims Northport’s Maroni Cuisine owes cook back wages

Maroni Cuisine in Northport on June 1, 2016.

Maroni Cuisine in Northport on June 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

A cook who worked for Northport’s Maroni Cuisine is suing the restaurant and its owner, alleging he was not paid overtime and other required wages.

Luis Calle, of Manhattan, worked as a line cook for Maroni’s from 2001 to May 2016 and said in a suit filed in U.S. District Court on Friday that he never received overtime pay, state-required “spread-of-hours” pay or wage statements from his employer.

According to the suit, he received his $850 weekly salary in cash in an envelope. The salary did not compensate him for additional hours he worked daily, which pushed his total work time at more than 50 hours a week.

State law also requires that employers pay employees for an additional hour of minimum wage work when the length of time between their first shift’s start and last shift’s end is more than 10 hours on a given day. Those wages are known as “spread of hours” pay.

A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant Saturday said no one was available to speak with a reporter.

Calle is seeking to compel Maroni Cuisine, Meatballs, Inc. and owner, Michael Maroni, to pay up to $10,000 in lost wages in addition to other fees.

Louis Pechman, a Manhattan-based attorney representing Calle, declined to comment on the case specifically, but said such wage cases are very common.

“Paying kitchen employees on a flat salary is a common wage violation in the restaurant industry,” he said. “If you’re paying on a salary, you’re not paying them the overtime pay which the law requires.”

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