U.S. Department of Labor

11/12/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/12/2019 14:10

Two Orlando, Florida, Restaurants to Pay Wages After U.S. Department of Labor Uncovers Overtime Violations

ORLANDO, FL - After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Chai BKK Inc. and Chai 99 Inc. - two Orlando, Florida-based restaurants owned by Hong Saeunong - will pay $27,000 in back wages to 17 employees for violating overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators determined Chai BKK Inc. - operating as Chai Thai Cuisine - and Chai 99 Inc. paid a flat rate per shift to kitchen employees without regard to the number of hours that they worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but the employer did not pay them overtime. The employer also paid overtime to tipped employees when they exceeded 80 hours in a bi-weekly period, instead of after 40 hours in one week, as the law requires. Investigators also found the restaurants paid the tipped employees an incorrect overtime rate, paying time and one-half workers' direct cash wages instead of basing overtime on the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Additional violations resulted when the employer failed to combine the hours individual employees worked across both locations during the same workweek to determine when overtime was due.

'Employees deserve to be paid the wages they have legally earned, and law abiding employers deserve not to find themselves at an economic disadvantage to competitors who break the law,' said Wage and Hour District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. 'The Wage and Hour Division offers a wealth of information to assist employers in complying with federal laws. We encourage all employers to take advantage of these resources and to reach out to us directly with any questions.'

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the WHD, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.

WHD's mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation's workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.