MEDFORD, Ore. — The U.S. Department of Labor says that it has recovered more than $280,000 in back wages for 36 employees of a Medford sushi restaurant after an investigation into claims that the owner was withholding nearly all of their workers' tips.
The agency said that Misoya Bistro withheld employees' tips and failed to pay overtime to several workers who went over 40 hours in a week, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Instead of receiving their tips, workers were paid a small stipend.
"Misoya Bistro paid workers an hourly ‘tip wage’ rate that was significantly lower than the actual amount of tips the employees earned," the Dept. of Labor said in a statement.
“Restaurant workers are among the nation’s lowest paid and are often unfamiliar with their legal rights regarding tips, minimum wages and overtime. The pandemic made clear these workers are essential to our economy and they must be paid all of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “Employers who violate the law hurt workers and their families. They also gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors who operate legally.”