OAHU, HI — A restaurant in Hawaii recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve claims that the company violated several provisions of federal labor and wage laws, including failure to pay overtime wages to dozens of its workers. As part of the settlement, Oahu-based Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurants will pay back a combined $60,721 in overtime and damages to 62 current and former workers.
An investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurants improperly paid overtime to workers only when they worked more than 80 hours in a semi-monthly pay period. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), companies must pay their workers one and a half times the individual’s average hourly rate of pay when working more than 40 hours in a single week.
“When we resolve cases like this one, we protect workers and ensure that employers are competing on a level playing field,” said WHD District Director Terence Trotter, in Honolulu said on the Labor Department’s website. “We urge all employers to use the many tools our agency offers to learn about their legal responsibilities, avoid violations and operate in compliance.”
When the defendant did pay overtime wages to its workers, the employees only earned straight time instead of the premium overtime rates that the FLSA requires. In addition, Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurants only paid its managers a flat, daily pay rate and did not reflect the actual number of hours worked in a day. While the law does allow employers to pay certain employees a flat salary, these workers are expected to perform certain duties.
To qualify as overtime exempt, managers are expected to perform duties vital to the day to day operations of the the business. These duties may include the authority to hire and fire workers, set pay rates, create work schedules, and supervise the work of subordinates. Otherwise, managers are not exempt from overtime pay and must be compensated accordingly.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
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