US Department of Labor finds Oahu restaurant operator allowed manager to keep share of tips, denied overtime pay to kitchen workers
HONOLULU – The owner of a Honolulu restaurant made earning a living difficult for its employees by allowing a manager to illegally keep a portion of workers’ tips and denying overtime pay to salaried cooks who worked an average of 55 hours a week, a recent federal investigation has found.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigation cited R-International Inc., owner of Rinka Restaurant, for its violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and recovered $85,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for 13 employees. The division also assessed the employer $10,000 in civil money penalties for the reckless nature of its violations.
“By failing to pay employees all of the tips they earned and refusing to pay overtime rates to cooks as required, the owner of Rinka Restaurant violated the law and demonstrated a reckless disregard for their workers’ rights,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “This case should serve as a warning that violating federal law can have costly consequences. We encourage all employers to contact us or use department’s online resources before implementing potentially non-compliant practices.”
Since 2016, the Wage and Hour Division has conducted more than 2,650 investigations in the drinking and eating establishments industry in the Western Region, recovering $24 million in back wages for more than 15,300 employees. The division’s Honolulu District office conducted 228 of these investigations, finding violations in 219 cases and recovering more than $1.4 million in back wages for almost 1,700 employees.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.