A Vietnamese restaurant in Chicago has paid almost $700,000 in back pay after it was reportedly found to have violated minimum wage and overtime regulations.
On Wednesday, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that Tank Noodle Inc. had given $697,295 in back wages to the department’s Wage and Hour Division to be given to 60 employees.
Some of those employees were reportedly owed more than $10,000 each in back wages, according to the announcement.
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Management for Tank Noodle Inc. could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
According to the DOL’s announcement, investigators found that the restaurant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.
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Those violations reportedly included failing to accurately document the number of hours staff worked; employing some servers to work only for tips without direct wages; neglecting to pay some workers overtime; and shorting servers by pooling tips.
According to the announcement, Tank Noodle Inc. included management in the restaurant’s tipping pool, even though management is not legally allowed to participate in tip pools.
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The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division notified the restaurant that it was violating the Fair Labor Standards Act on Oct. 14, 2020, according to the announcement. On Dec. 7, 2020, Tank Noodle Inc. agreed to pay the back wages owed.
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“This investigation recovered a considerable amount of back wages for 60 employees in an industry whose essential workers are often among the lowest paid in our society,” Thomas Gauza, the Wage and Hour Division district director in Chicago, said in a statement. “Failing to accurately record the hours employees work does not prevent a federal investigation, the discovery of violations and ultimately, back wage recovery.”
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After the DOL’s announcement was published on Wednesday, Tank Noodle Inc. deactivated its Facebook account, according to Eater Chicago.