A Westchester County restaurant owner has been sentenced to jail time for allegedly not paying thousands of dollars in restitution owed to six former employees in Port Chester.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Tuesday that Elisa Parto, the owner of Elisa’s Food and Plus, Inc. in Port Chester, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay $26,000 in stolen wages to former employees - in addition to a $1,000 fine - after failing to pay the required minimum wage and overtime.
Schneiderman stated that between 2010 and 2014, Parto hired cooks, cleaners and cashiers who were all owed minimum wage for hours worked, as well as overtime at one and a half times their regular wage. One employee reported working close to 70 hours a week without being paid minimum wage or overtime wages as required by law.
According to Schneiderman, at sentencing, Parto was ordered to pay the remaining amount of the total $47,000 in restitution owed to six former employees. She previously paid $21,000, but over the past eight months, she has failed to pay the remaining difference, despite warnings from court officials.
In April last year, Parto spent a week in jail for violating bail conditions by failing to appear in court and later failing to report to probation. Parto’s date to surrender herself to law enforcement has been moved until June 5. If she pays the balance owed, she can avoid jail, but will be incarcerated if she fails to pay the difference.
“My office will not tolerate attempts to exploit workers and deprive them of the compensation they have rightfully earned,” Schneiderman stated. “We’ll continue to crack down on those who engage in wage theft – in order to protect hardworking New Yorkers and the families that rely on them.”