CA Restaurant Chain in Multi-Million-Dollar Wage Theft Settlement

Source: belchonok - 123RF

San Francisco—The Labor Commissioner’s Office has reached a $4 million settlement with the owners of a Bay Area Burmese restaurant chain to repay 298 workers identified in a wage theft investigation last year.

After working with the Labor Commissioner’s Office, the Burmese chain agreed to pay the settlement in three payments. The first payment was received on January 11 and the final payment is due by the end of the year. The settlement includes payment to an additional 82 workers for paid sick leave penalties.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office last June issued wage assessments and penalties of $4.96 million to Burma Ruby Burmese Cuisine in Palo Alto and Rangoon Ruby Burmese Cuisine with restaurants in Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Carlos, Burlingame, and Belmont.

The wage theft violations and civil penalties included failure to pay minimum wage, overtime and split shift premiums.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office launched the investigation after receiving complaints from workers who reported wage theft to the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, which also represented many of the workers who cooperated in the investigation.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office is mailing notification to the current and former restaurant workers of their expected settlement payments. The underpaid cooks will receive an average settlement payment of $35,659 and front of the house staff will be paid an average of $2,629 for the wage theft suffered.

The settlement includes $61,211 in civil penalties payable to the state.