News Brief

US Department of Labor recovers $49K for servers after finding restaurant’s owners shared servers’ tips with manager illegally

Employer:                                          Pho Saigon restaurant

Investigation sites:                            826 N. Ventura Road, Port Hueneme, CA 93041

Investigation findings:                      U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found restaurant owners Cindy Le and Oanh Le allowed their daughter Karen Walden – working as the restaurant manager – to fully participate in the tip pool while they only engaged in tip eligible duties 30 percent of the time, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Back Wages/Damages Recovered:  $24,877 in back wages for 20 employees

                                                             $24,877 in liquidated damages for 20 employees

Penalties:                                            $2,100 in civil money penalties for willful disregard of the FLSA.

Quote: “Food service industry employers must know that tips are the property of tipped employees who earn them,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kimchi Bui in Los Angeles. “Any attempt by restaurant employers to misuse a portion of workers’ tips violates tipped workers’ federal wage rights.”

Background:  Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, now available for Android and iOS devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate. 


Wage and Hour Division
January 17, 2023
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Petersen
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