ALBANY, N.Y. — Apparel retailer Yellow Rat Bastard, which is based in New York City and controlled by Henry Ishay, has settled a $1.4 million lawsuit involving unpaid wages and employee overtime with the New York State Attorney General’s office.
The company will provide full restitution and damages for more than 1,000 employees and former employees, according to the settlement.
Ishay’s chain of stores includes Boys and Chicks, Dirty Jane/Sloppy Joe, Rubber Sole Shoes, Antique Orange, Tempo, and F.A.T. Jeans & Shoes.
The settlement resolves two lawsuits and an investigation into extensive violations of New York state and federal labor law at all of Ishay’s stores by the attorney general. The investigation found that employees were often paid as little as $5.25 per hour and received no overtime pay, in violation of labor laws. The attorney general’s office also accused the retailer of retaliating against employees suspected of cooperating with the investigation by reducing work hours and illegally firing them.
The settlement requires that Yellow Rat Bastard fully reimburse employees for all unpaid wages and overtime, and bars the companies from retaliating against employees perceived to have cooperated with the investigation or who collect wages under the settlement.
The attorney general will continue to monitor the employment practices of Ishay’s companies.
“Any retail employers taking advantage of hardworking New Yorkers are on notice: refusing wages and paying below the minimum wage will not be tolerated in New York,” said Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. “Denying dignity, respect, and fairness in the workplace is both unethical and unlawful. The person responsible for these violations was caught and is now paying the price.”