4 Upstate restaurants accused of illegally keeping tips from workers

The US Department of Labor says employers at "Japan House" violated tipping and overtime laws
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 12:24 PM EST
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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The U.S. Department of Labor said wage and hour investigators found four Upstate employers illegally keeping cash and credit card tips.

The department said the employers of the Japan House locations also paid cooks a fixed salary for all hours worked, including those over 40 in a workweek.

According to the department, the employers violated federal laws governing tipped wages and overtime in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Japan House also failed to record the number of hours worked by some non-exempt employees, a recordkeeping violation.

The following five Japan House locations were involved:

  • 1989 E. Main St., Suite A, Spartanburg, SC 29307
  • 1703 John B. White Sr. Blvd., Suite C, Spartanburg, SC 29301
  • 2252 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Springs, SC 29316
  • 11010 Asheville Highway, Inman, SC 29349
  • 2795 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746

The department said they recovered $80,212 in back wages for 52 workers from restaurant owners, Fa Fa 318 LLC and Sanxi Inc., operators of Japan House restaurants.

“Today’s workers have the ability to choose employers who pay full wages and respect workers’ rights. Food service industry employers who comply with labor laws and appreciate the dignity of work will have the greatest appeal to workers, whether they’re joining the workforce or looking for new job opportunities,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “We encourage employers and employees to contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions or concerns regarding pay practices.”

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