According to a U.S. Labor Department release, Aura Thai Inc., a restaurant located on Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach, must pay eight of its employees $45,000 in back wages.
According to the release, the employer did not meet the required minimum wage obligation when paying servers, cooks and dishwashers. Servers averaged just over nine hours per day and were paid a flat rate of $50 regardless of how many hours they worked. Cooks and dishwashers averaged 66 hours worked per six-day workweek for $100 per day in cash and were not paid the required overtime pay of time and one-half for hours worked beyond 40 hours per week.
In violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer also failed to keep accurate records of employees’ hours and pay.
Investigators from the Wage and Hour Division’s Ontario Area Office found that four servers and four kitchen staff were owed $22,957 in unpaid minimum wage and overtime back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, according to the release.
The employer has agreed to pay all back wages and liquidated damages, as well as comply with all provisions of the FLSA. The owner was not available for comment.
“Restaurant employees often work long hours to support themselves and their families. They deserve to be paid the wages they rightfully earned,” said Skarleth Kozlo, the division’s assistant district director in Ontario, in a statement. “The Wage and Hour Division is working to protect vulnerable workers and level the playing field for law-abiding employers.”
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 is also available on The U.S. Department of Labor’s website here. For WHD’s Restaurant Fact Sheet in English click here. For the Fact Sheet translated into Thai, click here.
Aura Thai Inc. is located at 4085 Atlantic Ave.