China Town Super Buffet agrees to pay more than $196,000 in unpaid wages to 53 workers at 3 Kansas City, Mo., area locations
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. Workers at China Town Super Buffet in Kansas City, Independence and Blue Springs will receive a total of $196,971 in unpaid wages after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions.
"Through investigations like this one, the Wage and Hour Division continues to combat widespread minimum wage and overtime violations among restaurants," said Patricia Preston, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Kansas City. "The restaurant industry employs some of our country's most vulnerable workers who, especially during hard economic times, are at risk for exploitation. We will continue our effort to promote awareness and improve compliance in this industry."
Investigators from the division's Kansas City District Office determined that the company paid kitchen workers a fixed salary that was insufficient to cover minimum wage for all hours worked, and it failed to pay these workers at one and one-half times their hourly rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. The company also failed to maintain accurate and complete records of hours worked by kitchen employees, as well as failing to record payments made to employees accurately.
The three corporations in this investigation include China Town Super Buffet Inc. of Independence; China Town Café Inc. of Blue Springs; and C.T. Mancilla of Kansas City, Kan., all doing business as China Town Super Buffet. China Town Inc. signed a settlement agreement with the department, in which they agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future.
Additional terms of the agreement include the company's commitment to the following: to pay employees on a biweekly basis; track all hours on timecards; provide all employees information in their native language on their rights under the FLSA; and provide a pay stub on each pay date that shows the total hours worked, total hours paid and deductions. The company will also provide the phone number to the local Wage and Hour office, post the FLSA poster in a conspicuous location, and train managers in the provisions of the FLSA and terms of the settlement agreement.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Additionally, the law requires employers to maintain accurate time and payroll records, and prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the law.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.