US Department of Labor recovers $135K in back wages, damages after investigation finds Washington restaurant willfully violated overtime rules
BELLEVUE, WA – A federal investigation has uncovered overtime pay violations at a Bellevue restaurant that state labor investigators in Washington cited in 2020 for underpaying workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found The Roll Pod failed to pay workers overtime rates when they worked over 40 hours in a workweek, and knowingly disregarded the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer attempted to evade overtime requirements by paying workers less than they were legally due in the form of a “bonus” when they worked over 40 hours.
The division’s investigation led to the recovery of $67,699 in back wages found due and an equal amount in liquidated damages for a total of $135,399 for 23 workers. The willful nature of the violations also led to an assessment $1,450 in civil money penalties.
The division’s action follows a 2020 state investigation of The Roll Pod’s pay practices that resulted in state investigators recovering $13,121 in overtime wages back for two of the restaurant’s employees.
“Many restaurant industry employers shortchange vulnerable workers, depriving them of their full earnings and making it difficult for them to care for themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle. “Employers who evade the law, exploit workers and cheat their competitors will be held accountable and face costly consequences for their actions.”
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.
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.
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.