U.S. Department of Labor Investigation results in Honolulu’s Goma Tei Ramen Restaurants paying $190,000 to resolve overtime wage violations
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the operators of five Goma Tei Ramen restaurants in Honolulu, Hawaii, will pay $190,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to 49 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators determined the employers paid kitchen staff fixed salaries without regard to the number of hours they actually worked.
By doing so, the employer violated overtime requirements when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week, but were not paid overtime.
The practice also led to FLSA recordkeeping violations when the employer failed to accurately record the total number of hours actually worked.
“Simply paying restaurant employees a salary does not exempt these workers from receiving the overtime pay they are lawfully due,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter, in Honolulu. “The U.S. Department of Labor provides many tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and avoid violations like those found in this investigation. Employers and employees alike should contact us for assistance.”
The investigation included four Goma Tei Ramen restaurants at Ala Moana Shopping Center, Ward Center, Pearlridge Shopping Center and Kahala Mall, all of which are owned by Kenneth Siu, Jerry Siu, and Choi Sim Siu. A fifth location at International Marketplace is owned by Kenneth and Jerry Siu.
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).
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program.
Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.