CTDOL Recovers Nearly $80,000 In Wages For Vazzy’s Restaurant Employees In Bridgeport
(Wethersfield, CT) – Today, Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) Interim Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo announced that the CTDOL Division of Wage and Workplace Standards has completed their eight-month investigation into Vazzy’s Restaurant in Bridgeport and found widespread instances of labor violations. A settlement was reached with the restaurant that recovers $78,900 in back wages for 48 employees and levies $20,000 in civil penalties against the restaurant.
Commissioner Bartolomeo said, “I commend the Wage and Workplace team on their commitment to Connecticut’s workforce and bringing this investigation to resolution. Labor laws protect the very backbone of our economy—the workers who show up and do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage. Especially now, when the state needs full participation in the market to recover from the pandemic, it’s vital that employees know they will be treated fairly in the workplace and compensated justly for their labor.”
Director of CTDOL Division of Wage and Workplace Standards Thomas Wydra said, “This was an expansive investigation, the restaurant cooperated, and the employees will be made whole. The investigators did an outstanding job recovering these wages on behalf of the workers; I also want to thank the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office for their partnership and support throughout this process.”
The investigation, launched in March 2021, found that the restaurant failed to maintain lawful payroll processes and employee time records; failed to pay employees the minimum wage or overtime; and failed to provide meal periods as required under the law. There were no previous complaints filed with the Division. These violations put in motion inquiries into four other restaurants owned by John Vazzano: Vazzano’s Four Seasons Banquet LLC in Stratford; Vazzy’s Cucina in Shelton; Vazzy’s Osteria in Monroe; and Vazzy’s 19th Hole in Fairfield. These investigations are underway.
The CT Department of Labor Division of Wage and Workplace Standards protects about 1.6 million workers in Connecticut by enforcing workplace laws, including fair wage and employment standards. Upon receiving a complaint, investigators begin an inquiry, may audit employment, payroll, and other records, and may issue Stop Work Orders to protect workers. Companies found to have violated labor laws are subject to both criminal and civil fines and/or penalties. The agency encourages employees who suspect labor law violations to report them through the CTDOL website.