RESTAURANT HIRES A FAKE PRIEST TO GET WORKER ‘CONFESSIONS’ TO AVOID PAYING OVERTIME
SACRAMENTO (PAI)—File this one under the category of “absolutely unbelievable ways unscrupulous bosses will employ to avoid paying overtime” to their workers: Hiring a fake Catholic priest to take confessions of “misconduct” on the job…during work hours.
No, we’re not kidding. The Catholic News Agency reported that’s what was in back of a $145,000 Labor Department judgement—a $5,000 fine, $70,000 in missed overtime pay and $70,000 in damages to 35 workers, plus 4.53% interest—won against the Sacramento restaurant Taqueria Garibaldi.
The details weren’t in the consent decree, but in the testimony, regional Solicitor of Labor Marc Pilotin said. “Under oath, an employee of Taqueria Garibaldi explained how the restaurant offered a supposed priest to hear their workplace ‘sins’ while other employees reported that a manager falsely claimed immigration issues would be raised by the department’s investigation,” Pilotin told U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The alleged sins the fake priest tried to get the workers to confess were “stealing from their employer, been late for work, done anything to harm the employer or had bad intentions” towards the restaurant. Pilotin called the restaurant’s fake priest and coerced confessions “despicable” attempts to silence the workers, stop Wage and Hour’s probe, and avoid paying the overtime.