Labor Agency: Upper Crust Pizzeria Owes Workers $850,000

Labor department claims Boston restaurant chain cheated its workers.

The U.S. Labor Department has filed court papers claiming that Upper Crust pizzeria owes workers $850,000 in back wages, according to a Boston Globe report.

In February, an Upper Crust Pizza location on Washington Street in Salem closed its doors to customers.

The company, founded on Beacon Hill in 2001, was found in a federal investigation to have violated minimum-wage and overtime laws between April 2009 and January 2011, largely by exploiting immigrant workers.

This came on the back of a 2009 Labor Department investigation which ended in an order to pay workers $350,000 in back overtime..

Upper Crust founder Jordan Tobins allegedly came up with a scheme to recoup this money by lowering employees' wages or firing them if they refused to give the mandated compensation back, the Globe reported.

What followed was a 2010 class-action lawsuit and another Labor Department investigation.

Upper Crust Pizza filed for bankruptcy last month.

The company defaulted on a loan in September and owes at least $3.4 million, according to the Boston Globe.


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