Jacky’s Waterplace & Sushi Bar a restaurant located in Providence, Rhode Island, and its owner Kin Wah Ko, will pay $567,000 in back wages to 104 employees for failure to pay them the minimum wage and overtime pay, amongst other damages. A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that Jacky’s neglected to pay the federal minimum wage to its servers, bartenders, cooks, bussers, and dishwashers, and did not pay any overtime to employees working more than 40 hours in a given workweek. In addition, Jacky’s required its servers and bartenders to pay for breakages, customer walkouts and ordering errors out of their tips, reducing their pay to below the federal minimum wage. The restaurant also took a set percentage of servers’ and bartenders’ tips to pay its other employees and required employees to work without pay at charity events.
In addition to the monetary damages, Kin Wah Ko is responsible for creating a system to ensure all businesses he owns comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act in the future. He will also pay a $50,000 civil penalty to the Labor Department. The investigation and penalties follow a previous investigation against Jacky’s in which the restaurant paid a total of $80,350 in back wages to 25 employees at other locations.
Don Epifano, the Department of Labor’s Assistant District Director in Providence said, “The resolution of this case sends a clear message – we will continue to use every enforcement tool available to ensure workers take home every penny they have rightfully earned.”