A recent Los Angeles, California wage and hour investigation, led by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), found a Thai restaurant to be in violation of the overtime, minimum wage and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)--a frequent and growing problem in low-wage industries, affecting vulnerable workers who may not be aware of their federal labor and employment rights.
According to the DOL, Ayara Thai Cuisine restaurant has agreed to pay $162,201 in back wages to 35 workers, after the restaurant was found to have paid most of its employees below the minimum wage at a flat rate for all hours worked. The employees were reportedly paid in cash, and were paid without any consideration of overtime regulations, which under the FLSA, should be one and one-half the worker's hourly rate for any hours worked over forty in a workweek.
The restaurant employees were reportedly paid $80 to $110 for an entire day of work, which often included around 12 hours of work. Other employees who worked 6 to 12 hour workdays and were only paid a flat rate of $45 to 50 per day. The restaurant also violated the FLSA by failing to keep clear records of all hours worked by employees, as well as all wages paid to each worker.
The owner of the restaurant will reportedly pay all back wages due to employees, and has agreed to comply to FLSA regulations in the future, by paying all employees accurately for all hours worked, keeping accurate records of employees arrival and departure times, posting worker timesheets, and by properly classifying all workers as employees, as opposed to independent contractors--to avoid employee misclassification.
In Carson, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Corona, California, contact our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC, today.
Thai restaurant owner in Los Angeles agrees to pay more than $162,000 in back wages to 35 employees following US Labor Department investigation, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 11, 2011
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