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US Department of Labor finds overtime, tip violations; recovers $80K in back wages for 52 workers at 5 Carolina restaurants

Employers:                Fa Fa 318 LLC and Sanxi Inc., operators of Japan House restaurants

Investigation sites:   

1989 E. Main St., Suite A, Spartanburg, SC 29307

1703 John B. White Sr. Blvd., Suite C, Spartanburg, SC 29301

2252 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Springs, SC 29316

11010 Asheville Highway, Inman, SC 29349

2795 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746

Investigation findings: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the employers illegally kept cash and credit card tips received by cashiers, and paid cooks a fixed salary for all hours worked, including for those over 40 in a workweek. By doing so, the employers violated federal laws governing tipped wages and overtime in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Japan House also failed to record the number of hours worked by some non-exempt employees, a recordkeeping violation.  

Back Wages Recovered: $80,212 in back wages for 52 workers

Quote: “Today’s workers have the ability to choose employers who pay full wages and respect workers’ rights. Food service industry employers who comply with labor laws and appreciate the dignity of work will have the greatest appeal to workers, whether they’re joining the workforce or looking for new job opportunities,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “We encourage employers and employees to contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions or concerns regarding pay practices.”

Background: Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers numerous online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division representative in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.

Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.

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