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Positive Changes in the U.S. Senate Cafeteria

A cafeteria worker places food on a tray.
The Labor Department is committed to providing businesses with the tools they need to comply with the law.

Federal contractors should conduct their business in accordance with the highest standards, and that means paying their workers the wages to which they are legally entitled. A recent agreement with one contractor reinforces those standards for U.S. Senate office building food service workers.

In 2016, a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found that Restaurant Associates LLC, Restaurant Associates Inc., and principal Dick Cattani had underpaid staff. The business has now agreed to enact significant enhanced compliance measures. Restaurant Associates and subcontractor Personnel Plus also agreed to pay back wages and fringe benefits of $1,020,745 to 678 workers.  

Restaurant Associates has agreed to retain an independent monitor, at its own expense, to review compliance, and will not bid on any new federal service contracts for two years. The business is taking additional proactive steps to ensure future compliance, including appointing a compliance manager and compliance supervisors whose primary duties will include compliance, oversight, and annual service contract training to managers. Restaurant Associates will set up and maintain a confidential telephone hotline for employees or managers to report potential noncompliance. In addition, if during the term of the agreement, the Division determines that Restaurant Associates violated the law, and the violation is not fixed within 30 days, the company will voluntarily waive its defenses to debarment.  

The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing businesses with the tools they need to understand and comply with the variety of labor laws the Wage and Hour Division enforces. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. In addition, Community Outreach and Resource Planning specialists conduct ongoing activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups, and professional associations.

For more information about federal wage laws, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-487-9243 or visit

Oscar L. Hampton III is the Regional Solicitor of Labor for the Department’s Philadelphia Regional Office. 

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