Sushi Yasuda, widely recognized as one of the best Japanese restaurants in New York, has settled a lawsuit for $2.4 million dollars according to a proposed settlement agreement filed in New York federal court.
The restaurant’s front of the house staff alleged that Sushi Yasuda violated the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law by failing to pay employees for all the hours worked, unlawfully taking a “tip credit” and paying the employees less than the minimum wage, and failing to pay employees spread-of-hours pay when they worked more than ten hours in a day.
Sushi chefs, bussers and the waitstaff at the restaurant will receive a proportional share of the Settlement Fund based on the number of shifts they worked from December 3, 2006 to May 12, 2013. According to the attorneys for the workers, over 100 employees will be covered by the settlement.
The restaurant recently received wide press coverage for its elimination of tips when owners decided to give customers an authentic Japanese dining experience by following the Japanese custom of not tipping. The restaurant rolled out its policy on its bills and menus, which stated, “Following custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted. Thank you.”