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News Brief

US Labor Department sues San Antonio restaurant chain for $164K in unpaid overtime, liquidated damages for 20 workers

Date of Action: Sept. 9, 2016

Type of Action: Lawsuit

Name of Defendant: Wok on Wheels USA LLC, Shin Oak Investments LLC and Cedars Enterprises LLC —doing business as Wok on Wheels; owners Said Al-Haj and Rhonda Al-Haj.

Allegation: The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Wok on Wheels USA LLC, Shin Oak Investments LLC, Cedars Enterprises LLC—doing business as Wok on Wheels and owners Said Al-Haj and Rhonda Al-Haj after an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the employers willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. The defendants failed to pay 20 current and former employees $82,280 in overtime pay. Investigators from the division’s San Antonio District Office found Wok on Wheels failed to pay the proper overtime rate to tipped delivery drivers and paid a salary instead of proper overtime to non-exempt cooks. Additionally, investigators determined the employer failed to keep track of all hours worked each day and the total hours worked each week, leading to a record-keeping violation. Wok on Wheels has been investigated three times in the last six years with the same or similar violations found in the current investigation.

Quote: “Willful practices that violate the law and cheat workers on their pay are taken seriously by the division,” said Betty Campbell, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest.  “All workers deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.”

Resolution: The department seeks $82,280 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, and an injunction against future violations of the FLSA by Wok on Wheels and owners Said Al-Haj and Rhonda Al-Haj.

Background: Based in San Antonio, Texas, Wok on Wheels operates three delivery and dine-in restaurants.

Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division

Docket Number: 5:16-CV-00902-FB

Wage and Hour Division
October 5, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez