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

Labor department claims Boston restaurant chain cheated workers.

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

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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