Dysfunctional seems to be the operative word for the New York-based Piazza family, which has become embroiled in an overtime legal battle. The plaintiff of the lawsuit is 29-year old Nicholas Piazza, who is suing his father, Salvatore Piazza, for not paying him overtime at the ice cream store owned by the family. In his lawsuit, Nicholas claims that he worked up to 80 hours a week and only earned $10 per hour, and was fired for complaining about his work conditions. But Salvatore and Patricia Piazza responded by saying that they fired their son Nicholas only after he bought his own ice cream truck and tried to start a direct competition with the family store. Although there are a lot of unsubstantiated accusations and claims flying around, it would be interesting to note how the judge rules in this case, if it ever reaches court. The important question raised in this case is whether or not a family-owned shop has to pay family members for overtime and wage loss? In general, yes. But one has to ask: could this whole thing be avoided had the family communicated better with each other from the start?


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