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Kosher Food Manufacturer To Pay Compensation

A Brooklyn-based kosher food manufacturer has agreed to a $1.075 million settlement stemming from charges that it violated state and federal labor laws.

New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer announced Wednesday that employees would be compensated for unpaid wages. Under the terms of a the settlement brokered by Spitzer’s office, the Tuv Taam Corporation will pay the money, including $215,000 in damages, to 200 workers.

An investigation by Spitzer’s office revealed that from 1996 to 2001 the corporation failed to pay workers minimum wage or to supply compensation for overtime. According to a statement released by Spitzer’s office, Tuv Taam employees received as little as $4 an hour and received no overtime pay while working as many as 70 hours per week. The investigation also found that Tuv Taam did not maintain correct payroll records during that period.

Workers will file claims with Spitzer’s office. The levels of compensation will depend on how many individuals come forward.

“This settlement will not only reimburse the workers, but put in place basic reforms to ensure that workers are compensated fairly,” Spitzer said in a statement.

Tuv Taam, located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, produces kosher foods such as blintzes, pickles, prepared salads, hummus and other items.

The company did not return a call seeking comment.

The settlement was hailed in a joint statement from the Latin American Workers’ Project and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund.

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