A chain of upscale Asian cuisine restaurants were ordered to pay over $1 million after a United States Department of Labor investigation found that the restaurants violated the rights of waiters and kitchen staff under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Asian Moon Restaurants in Massapequa and Garden City, Long Island and Golden Rod Restaurant in New Rochelle, Westchester County were ordered to pay a total of $1,085,752 in back wages, interest and liquidated damages to 255 employees as a result of a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor which alleged violations of the FLSA. Department of Labor investigators from the Long Island and White Plains offices found that employees working as waiters, waitresses, dishwashers, and food preparers worked an average of 45-55 hours a week but were paid wages that did not equal the hourly minimum wage of $7.25 or include proper compensation for overtime hours worked. The Department of Labor investigations found that the restaurants falsified records to hide minimum wage and overtime violations while paying many workers off the books. In addition to back wages and damages, the restaurants were ordered by New York federal courts to pay $98,231 in civil penalties to the Department of Labor.