News Brief

Department of Labor recovers $134K in tips, overtime wages, damages after investigators found Hawaii restaurant owner shortchanged workers

Maui’s L&L Hawaiian Barbecue also assessed $5,685 in penalties

Employer:      Maui L&L Food Inc., operating as L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

                        270 Dairy Road

Kahului, HI 96732                                                                                                     

Investigation findings: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Hui Bing Zhang, owner of Kahului-based L&L Hawaiian Barbecue on Maui, illegally kept a portion of employees tips and deprived them of their lawful overtime earnings by knowingly underpaying their earned premium pay and recording the deficient cash payments separately and outside their normal payroll, both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act 

Back Wages Recovered:       $58,600 in unpaid overtime wages and $8,791 in withheld tips for 21 employees

$67,391 in damages for 21 employees                                                                             

                                                $5,685 in civil money penalties

Quote: “The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to fight wage theft in the restaurant industry and across all sectors of the economy,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “This restaurant employer willfully violated the law by deliberately underpaying workers their overtime wages and pocketing a portion of the tips they earned.” 

ContextWorkers can use the division’s Workers Owed Wages search tool to see if they are owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can contact the Wage and Hour Division for help and assistance at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including the agency’s restaurants compliance assistance toolkit and an overview about the FLSA protections for restaurant workers. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and IOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.  

Wage and Hour Division
February 7, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Petersen
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali
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