Feds recover $280,000 in back wages and damages from Hibachi Grill
Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)
The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $279,070 from a Sioux Falls buffet restaurant that paid kitchen workers a flat monthly salary and denied them overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek, the department announced Thursday in a news release.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet – operated by H & G Inc. – failed to pay 31 workers overtime wages when required, did not keep accurate records of hours worked or employees’ full names and addresses, and failed to post the required poster, all violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
H & G Inc. denied 31 kitchen workers their full wages, said Wage and Hour District Director Chad Frasier in Denver.
“The Wage and Hour Division knows violations like these are all too common in the restaurant industry, and we leverage resources – such as working cooperatively with advocacy groups – to bring employers into compliance and ensure workers’ rights and benefits are protected under the law,” Frasier said in the release.
In addition to paying back wages, H & G agreed to conduct internal bi-annual compliance audits and to provide ongoing training on federal wage laws to managers and workers.
In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $34.7 million for more than 29,000 food service workers, in an industry ranked first among the division’s “low wage, high violation” employers.
The department’s Quick Service Restaurants Compliance Assistance Toolkit explains wage laws for the industry.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.
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