Grocery baggers at eight supermarkets across the city have been working solely
for tips, and that’s a violation of state labor laws. WNYC’s Cindy Rodriguez
REPORTER: The Department of Labor says six of the stores have agreed to pay
more than $300,000 in lost wages** to close to 40 workers. The agency says the
practice of not paying baggers an hourly wage is likely more wide spread than
that. Labor Department Investigator Rashid Allen says many workers don’t realize
they’re entitled to more pay.
ALLEN: They think the boss is actually doing them a favor by letting them
come in and get tips and work off the books and that kind of a thing.
REPORTER: A Key Food store and Pioneer Supermarket in Brooklyn are among
those that have agreed to settle. Neither store would comment. The owner of a
Fine Fare in the Bronx says he thought he was doing a good thing by letting the
workers stay to make a little money. For WNYC, I’m Cindy Rodriguez.
**Make the Road NY has been instrumental in the development of the NY Wage Watcher’s program, which has been responsible for bringing these labor law violations to light.
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