Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca Commons shop Trader K’s failed to pay its employees over $7,500 in owed overtime, according to an investigation conducted by the NYS Department of Labor in July and October of 2013.

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The Tompkins County Worker’s Center recently obtained the investigation results through a Freedom of Information Law Request.

Trader K’s on the Commons (courtesy of their Facebook page).

The DOL investigation results say the shop didn’t pay overtime properly to nine employees, including both store clerks and managers.

“There were store clerks not paid overtime and it seemed to be selective,” the report said. “Sometimes time and one-half would be paid, and sometimes it would not.”

In October of 2013, the business was assessed at $7,503.69 in damages and underpayments. Trader K’s owner Karen Sciarabba then immediately made a payment of $916.12 for payments which she did not dispute, according to records of the investigation. Two months later, Sciarabba agreed to pay the remaining balance of $6,537.57.

Records show that Sciarabba has made at least one payment towards that balance: $1,856.14 on Jan 6, 2014.

The DOL investigation was carried out after a Trader K’s employee (who asked not be named) contacted the Worker’s Rights Hotline run by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC). The TCWC then filed a complaint on the employee’s behalf.

“Wage theft is rampant in NY State and around the country,” Pete Meyers, TCWC Coordinator, said in a press release. “We encourage workers to contact us whenever they have questions or feel their employer is cheating them out of their wages.”

Damages and underpayment were assessed for all Trader K’s employees; however, whether the claimant him/herself suffered damages or was underpaid is unclear from the report.

In the report, DOL investigator Susan Wood wrote that she was unable to find time records for the particular period the claimant, a Trader K’s manager, was pursuing.

“Employer suspects claimant took them,” Wood wrote.

Of Trader K’s owner Karen Sciarabba, Wood wrote, “the employer was extremely cooperative and through their attorney, evidenced immediate compliance.”

The DOL claims sheet can be viewed below:

Claims summary from DOL report. (Courtesy of Pete Meyers of the Tompkins County Workers Center)

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