N.O. employer ordered to pay workers $403,000 in unpaid overtime

U.S. District Court rules in wage case (Source: WVUE image)
U.S. District Court rules in wage case (Source: WVUE image)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Federal Court orders Ideal Discount Market to pay $403,000 to employees in overtime back wages.

U.S. Department of Labor investigators discovered the New Orleans business failed to pay overtime to 56 employees.

Investigators say the defendants had some employees working entirely "off the books" and failed to keep accurate records of employees' hours and pay.

Some employees worked up to six 13 hour days per week, but were paid straight time for the hours. 
Investigators say the defendants falsified records to cover it up.

The consent judgment orders Muwafak "Mike" Kaki and Gassan "Jimmy" Kaki and the six corporations doing business as Ideal Discount Market, to pay the back wages to employees that include cooks, butchers, cashiers and stockers. The judgment also forbids them from retaliating against any current or former employees.

"Cheating employees out of their hard-earned wages is inexcusable," said Betty Campbell, acting regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest.

"These violations not only hurt employees and their families, but provide the employer an unfair competitive advantage over others who obey the law."

Ideal Discount Market has multiple locations in the New Orleans area that operate as groceries, delis and gas stations.

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