The owners of the Plymouth Public House and Tavern on the Wharf restaurants have been fined nearly half a million dollars for violating state labor laws. 

Peter Lucido and Paul Tupa have been ordered pay a total of $476,351 in civil penalties and in restitution for violating child labor, sick time, wage and hour compensation, and payroll record regulations at the two locations, the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell said.

“These restaurant owners engaged in a pattern of violating workplace protection laws that are designed to protect workers, especially our young workers,” Campbell said in a statement.

The attorney general’s office has not responded to requests for details about the violations and the hefty fines.

Lucido declined to discuss the state’s findings. “Our attorneys are telling us we cannot comment at this time,” he said.  

Pressed to say what he and Tupa are doing to prevent a recurrence of such violations, Lucido said, “All the policies and procedures are in place.” 

Plymouth Public House, on State Road, must pay $133,262 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay the minimum wage and make timely payments to employees. Under Massachusetts wage and hour laws, employers are required to pay employees all wages earned within six days of the end of a pay period. 

The restaurant was also cited for violating state child labor laws and the law governing tips, as well as failing to keep adequate payroll records. 

Tavern on the Wharf got hit even harder. It must pay $343,089 for the same violations and for failing to allow employees to earn and use sick time. 

It’s not the first time Tupa has run afoul of state wage and hour laws. He was previously fined $80,000 at another restaurant he owned, the Red Hat Café, in Boston.

Tupa and Lucido also own the Proof 22 restaurant on Main Street, and The Shanty, formerly The Shanty Rose, which is on the waterfront near Tavern on the Wharf. Those two restaurants were not cited by the attorney general.

The Tavern on the Wharf owners also are facing legal action in federal court.

Liza McAdams, a Pembroke woman who worked at the restaurant, filed suit against the restaurant’s owners last March, alleging they violated family leave laws when they did not give her back her job as a manager when she returned to work from three months of sick leave.

Instead, the suit alleges, Lucido gave McAdams a part-time hostess job. When she informed him that the demotion violated the law, the alleged retaliation began. The owners accused her of wrongfully taking tips and threatened to turn her into authorities.

In turn, she told them they were violating additional laws – including labor laws – by paying employees in cash and providing no sick time or breaks

Lawyers for the restaurant and its owners, Lucido and Tupa, denied the allegations. The case, filed in US District Court in Boston, is scheduled for a hearing next month. 

Fred Thys can be reached at Andrea Estes of the Independent staff contributed to this report.

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