The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is seeking a fortune in fortune cookies from three San Antonio-area China Sea Restaurants. The WHD sued after an investigation revealed massive minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping violations. It found 164 workers were due $1,018,000 in back wages and overtime.
The WHD lawsuit alleges the restaurants’ managers failed to record all hours worked and made illegal deductions from employee paychecks for housing and meals. Barring a settlement, the chain must now defend its practices in federal court.
Note: Inadequate time records are a big red flag to WHD investigators. Employers should ensure their recordkeeping is well-organized and easily accessed. If not, investigators will dig for more.