Workers at 2 Udupi Palace restaurants due more than $112K in back wages, damages
US Labor Department investigation finds overtime, minimum wage violations
SAN FRANCISCO Udupi Palace restaurants in San Francisco and Berkeley violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying workers overtime and the minimum wage to at least one worker, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today. The business will pay eight kitchen workers $56,288 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The action follows an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division that discovered rampant overtime violations dating back to 2011.
"Udupi Palace's hard-working employees will finally get paid the overtime owed to them in the past three years," said Susana Blanco, the department's Wage and Hour division director in San Francisco. "These employees worked long hours to support themselves and their families. Denying them wages they rightfully earned made paying the rent and putting food on the table more difficult. Unfortunately, Udupi Palace restaurants deliberately ignored an important, well-known 1938 rule that requires time and one-half wages be paid when staff work more than 40 hours in a workweek."
The division's San Francisco District Office investigators found some employees at the Udupi Palace locations routinely worked up to 60 hours per week with no overtime pay. In fact, one employee at the Berkeley eatery worked for no pay. The employer claimed the unpaid employee was in training, a violation of the minimum wage standards of the FLSA. The employee will receive more than $500 in back wages. Udupi Palace also failed to keep accurate records of the employees' hours worked.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are generally liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, which are paid directly to the affected employees.
For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.