Mike Nuzzo and his wife Migdalia own and operate a family pizzeria named Grand Apizza in Clinton, Connecticut. Mike and Migdalia Nuzzo cultivate a family-friendly atmosphere in their establishment and their own 3 children, ages 13, 11, and 8 are usually found somewhere on the premises helping out. However, an anonymous complaint to the state labor department has resulted in the Nuzzos being told that the couple cannot have their children at the restaurant helping out because it constitutes child labor.
Mike says his own parents taught him family, tradition, respect, integrity and hard work, and he wants to pass the same traditions down to his own kids. Mike and Migdalia say the state of Connecticut is taking the "family" out of family business and they want the state labor department to stay out of their business. The couple has filed a suit in federal court to force the state to keep out of their pizzeria and family life.
Mike said "He (inspector) told me that I couldn't have my children here with my wife helping us out. It’s not like the kids are pulling pizzas out of 600-degree ovens. The 13-year-old helps in the kitchen while the younger ones are out in front. They're not in any harms way. My little one comes here. He helps us. He clears tables off. He greets the people. Sits them down and the people love it. Love it."
Other small business owners in Clinton support the Nuzzos and believe he is doing the right thing raising his children while working in a family business. The general consensus seems to be that a family business is exactly that, a family affair and not a business issue. Now all that remains is to be seen is how the courts will rule on the issue.