By Bob Roberts

(CBS) — A consent decree means back pay and damages for 58 employees of a popular Bridgeport restaurant.

The agreement calls for payment of nearly $170,000 in back wages and an equal amount in damages for the employees of Fabulous Freddies Italian Eatery.

U.S. Labor Department investigators found that the restaurant and owner Stephanie Fitzpatrick paid non-tipped trainees as little as $3.75 an hour, well below the state and federal minimum wages.

In addition, they failed to pay time-and-a-half to those who worked more than 40 hours a week. The agreement also cites record-keeping lapses.

“Failing to pay employees what they have legally earned allows companies to gain an unfair advantage over competitors that abide by the law,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Gauza said in a news release. “Wage violations can be avoided, and we encourage employers to reach out to us for guidance.”

WBBM Newsradio has reached out to the restaurant for comment.

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