Employees at the Aura Thai restaurant in Long Beach, California will no longer be paid flat daily rates for their work. The practice certainly didn’t curry favor with U.S. Department of Labor investigators.
The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found the restaurant’s practice of paying servers and kitchen staff $50 and $100, respectively, per day violated Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions.
Cooks and dishwashers worked 11 hours a day six days a week while servers put in over nine hours a day. This obvious effort to pad Thai restaurant profits left investigators cold, especially after they found the owners failed to track employee hours. The restaurant has agreed to pay about $45,000 in back wages and comply with themoving forward.
Note: If investigators find the employer did not track employee hours, they will take the employee’s word for hours worked.