News Brief

Department of Labor recovers $307K in back wages, damages for 23 restaurant workers deprived of overtime pay in Hawaii

Max’s of Manila restaurants also assessed $8k in penalties for reckless labor law violations

Employer:       Asian Restaurant Group Inc., operating two restaurants as Max’s of Manila in Hawaii

                              1350 Pine St. #6

                               Boulder, CO 80304

Investigation findings: A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found the owners of two Max’s of Manila restaurants in Honolulu and Waipahu did not pay kitchen staff required overtime rates for hours over 40 in a workweek, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer paid kitchen employees a fixed salary and excluded them for overtime pay regardless of how many hours they worked. Investigators also found the employer unlawfully allowed a manager to take a portion of tips. Federal law forbids employers or managers from keeping employees’ tips for any purpose.

Back Wages Recovered:       $153,885 in overtime wages for 23 employees

                                                          $153,885 in liquidated damages for 23 employees

                                                          $8,418 in civil money penalties for the reckless nature of the violations

Quote: “Many restaurant employers in Hawaii and elsewhere in the nation continue to shortchange workers and deprive them of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “The restaurants failing to pay employees in compliance with the law will pay a hefty price in back wages due plus liquidated damages. We are determined to protect workers and stop these illegal practices.”

Workers 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 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
June 21, 2024
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