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Court Orders Ann Arbor Restaurant to Pay Employees $112K in Back Wages

The Department of Labor says Seoul Garden violated the Fair Labor Standards Act

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Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

A federal court is ordering Min & Kim Inc. — the operator of Ann Arbor restaurant Seoul Garden — to pay its employees $112,212 in back wages. Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the Korean and Japanese restaurant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay its employees overtime and maintain accurate payroll and time records, according to a release.

Seoul Garden paid all of its 27 workers including cooks, sushi chefs, line cooks, waiters, dishwashers, and bussers a flat rate per day regardless of the actual hours worked, according to the investigators. As a result, staff who worked more than 40 hours were not paid legally required overtime wages.

The restaurant was one of two regional businesses that investigators found weren’t complying with wage laws. The other was Nino Salvaggio Fruit and Vegetable Markets, which operates three metro Detroit stores. That company has agreed to pay its 212 employees $135,657 in overtime an interest in order to resolve a federal lawsuit.

This is far from the first time a Southeast Michigan restaurant has ordered to pay back wages. In 2015 investigators at the department found seven Ann Arbor restaurants had violated the Fair Labor Standards act, ordering them to return a total of $140,000 in back pay to employees.

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Leads to Court Order for Ann Arbor, Michigan, Restaurant to Pay $112,212 in Back Wages [Official]
All Wages Coverage [ED]