US District Court for the District of Massachusetts has ordered owners of three pizza restaurants to pay $330,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 150 employees.

Following an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) into Stash’s Pizza, Boston Pizza Co., and Weymouth Pizza.

All the three restaurants have violated the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Restaurants and their owners have been asked to pay a $20,000 civil money penalty and take other corrective actions.

US DOL Wage and Hour Division Boston district director Carlos Matos said: “The US Department of Labor will rigorously enforce the Fair Labor Standards Act and investigate employers who not only deny workers their wages, but continue to do so while attempting to conceal their actions.

“Employers who short their workers and impede investigators to gain an unfair economic advantage will not be tolerated.”

“If the defendants do not meet the terms of the judgement, they may be subject to additional litigation or legal remedies, including contempt of court.”

The lawsuit was filed against the owners of the three pizza restaurants by the US DOL in March 2017, for which, it obtained an injunction from the court in February 2018 to halt violations by the restaurant owners.

According to WHD, the employees and former employees involved in the lawsuit were forced to lie to or not speak with investigators after the lawsuit was filed.

The Department’s New England regional solicitor of labor Maia Fisher said: “This case shows that the US Department of Labor will employ all available legal remedies to enforce the law.

“If the defendants do not meet the terms of the judgement, they may be subject to additional litigation or legal remedies, including contempt of court.”

The investigation was conducted by WHD’s Boston District Office. Senior Trial Attorneys Scott M. Miller and James Glickman litigated the case on behalf of the DOL.