ELIZABETH, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $353,945 in back wages and liquidated damages for 79 sales associates at 12 New Jersey T-Mobile locations whose owners willfully denied the employees overtime wages for hours over 40 in workweek.

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Morad Marashli and Kabaeil Barakat – who operate Metro by T-Mobile locations in Bayonne, Colonia, Elizabeth, Somerset, and Union City – failed to pay the associates overtime at time-and-one-half their required rates of pay when required by law, and paid them in cash, off the books at a straight time rate. Their actions violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In addition to the recovery of back wages and damages, the division assessed a civil money penalty of $38,670 due to the employers’ willful violation of the law. Sales associates worked at locations owned and operated by Marashli and Barakat, under multiple entities.

Kabaeil Barakat operates the following Metro by T-Mobile locations:

Entity Name

Address

City

209 Mobile Inc.

209 Broad St.

Elizabeth

Broad Mobile Inc.

87 Broad St.

Elizabeth

Elmora Mobile Inc.

164B Elmora Ave.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Mobile Inc.

852 Elizabeth Ave.

Elizabeth

3402 Bergenline Mobile Inc.

3402 Bergenline Ave.

Union City

4200 Bergenline Mobile Inc.

4200 Bergenline Ave.

Union City

Morad Marashli operates the following Metro by T-Mobile locations:

Entity Name

Address

City

Somerset Wireless Inc.

458 Broadway

Bayonne

Colonia Mobile Inc

1333 St. George Ave.

Colonia

1169 Elizabeth Mobile Inc.

1 Broad St.

Elizabeth

S&M Wireless Inc.

356 Rahway Ave.

Elizabeth

S&M Wireless Inc.

600 S. Broad St.

Elizabeth

Somerset Wireless Inc.

752 Hamilton St.

Somerset

“Morad Marashli and Kabaeil Barakat denied their sales associates the full extent of their hard-earned wages, making it harder for them to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Paula Ruffin in Mountainside, New Jersey. “Wage theft harms workers and their families and hurts responsible employers who abide by the law.”

In fiscal year 2021, the division recovered more than $13 million in back wages for more than 14,000 retail workers following 2,705 retail industry investigations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there were approximately 1.1 million job openings in the retail trade industry nationwide in April 2022, which is forcing employers to compete with one another to attract employees to fill open positions.

“As employers continue to search for the people they need to operate their businesses, those who fail to respect workers’ rights to full wages and benefits will find it more difficult to retain and recruit staff,” added Ruffin.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time-and-one-half the required rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

The agency encourages workers who think they may be owed back wages as a result of these or other federal investigations to use the Workers Owed Wages search tool or contact the Philadelphia Regional Office at (215) 861-5800. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers confidentially in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for Android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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