Court Sides With USDOL and Orders Restaurant Operators to Pay More than $2 Million In Back Wages and Penalties
Two restaurant owners-operators who managed five restaurants called Oriental Forest have been ordered by a federal court judge to pay $2,030,430 in minimum wage and overtime pay and damages owed to 129 workers following an investigation by the USDOL’s Wage and Hour Division.
The court also ordered the business owners not to violate minimum wage and overtime pay laws in the future and to make no efforts to have employees return the back wages. The court found that $1,015,215 in back wages is owed, and ordered that an equal amount be paid to the 129 workers as liquidated damages.
USDOL’s investigation found violations at multiple Oriental Forest locations covering a three-year span that began in February 2004. The judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the USDOL in federal district court in Detroit, Mich., that alleged the business owners paid less than time and one-half workers’ regular rates for hours over 40 in a single workweek, paid them less than the federal minimum wage, and failed to keep adequate and accurate pay records. Payments to individual workers range from several hundred dollars to as much as $96,000.