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Cooked books pad Thai restaurants’ earnings

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation has uncovered willful Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations by two Chan Dara Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. The division says the restaurants failed to pay proper overtime wages and maintain required payroll records and fired workers who complained.

Investigators found that from September 2009 to September 2011, employees were paid “straight time” for all hours worked, even in excess of 40 hours per week. Employees often worked double shifts of 10 to 16 hours per day.

Investigators put the employer’s tab at $104,807 in overtime and back wages to 28 employees. The restaurant owners also admitted to maintaining two sets of payroll records: one accurate, the other peppered with falsehoods.

The lawsuit seeks full payment of back wages, liquidated damages, reinstatement of employees terminated in retaliation for exercising their FLSA rights and restitution for those employees’ lost wages. The restaurants have already paid a civil penalty of $10,000 for willful FLSA violations.

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