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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 09-1264-ATL (350)

Date: 

Oct. 22, 2009

Contact: 

Michael D’Aquino Michael Wald

Phone: 

404-562-2076 404-562-2078

US Department of Labor petitions federal court to enforce judgment against Memphis restaurants


Tasty Buffet and Tasty China Buffet owe more than $450,000 in back wages and damages

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has asked a federal court in Memphis to enforce a judgment of $459,658 against Tasty Buffet and Tasty China Buffet.

In 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee awarded this judgment after determining that the restaurants’ owners, Min Fang Yang and Huo Guang Huang, failed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay the federal minimum wage, failing to pay overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a workweek and failing to maintain accurate records of the hours worked by employees at the two restaurants.

After the district court judgment, the defendants filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which subsequently denied the defendants’ appeal of the district court’s ruling.

The Labor Department’s current petition asks that the district court require the defendants to show cause for why they should not be held in civil contempt, and failing to do so, be judged in contempt of the court and required to pay the full amount listed in the judgment plus post-judgment interest and the expenses arising out of this litigation.

“Employees have waited long enough for their back wages and deserve the earnings awarded them in the original court judgment,” said Oliver Peebles III, acting regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in Atlanta.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Tips actually received by tipped employees may be counted as wages for purposes of the FLSA, but the employer must pay not less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages. Tipped employees are those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. Effective July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage increased to $7.25 per hour.

This investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division District Office in Nashville, 1321 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 511; phone: 615-781-5344. For more information about the FLSA, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.