Giovanni Di Palma, owner of Antico Foods, LLC and the creator of Westside's "Little Italia," is cooperating with a US Department of Labor investigation into his business practices, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Di Palma denies the allegations that he has failed to properly compensate workers for long hours, and that he has intimidated employees who have spoken with federal investigators.
Per the ABC:
Di Palma also agreed not to tell any employees not to speak or provide false information to DOL investigators.
He also must allow a DOL representative to read aloud in English and Spanish a statement to his employees that says they are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Over the weekend, Di Palma's attorney Nathan Chapman spoke with Atlanta Magazine and harshly criticized the government's investigation, calling it an attempt to make a "public spectacle out of a very successful businessman."
Di Palma was "ambushed," Chapman argues. "This was a foregone conclusion to [the DOL] and they didn't even care about his side of the story," Chapman said in a phone conversation with Atlanta magazine. "They wanted to make a public spectacle out of a very successful businessman." Chapman told us that the government is trying to deny Di Palma his due process "There really is no basis for any judgment, let alone a public judgment, against my client. We believe that what has been reported and alleged by the Department of Labor will ultimately be proven to be inaccurate."
Di Palma's restaurant group includes Antico Pizza Napoletana, Gio's Chicken Amalfitano, Bottega Luisa, Caffe Gio, and Bar Amalfi. New Antico and Caffe Gio locations are set to open soon in Alpharetta's Avalon mixed-use development.