The owner of a Honolulu restaurant made earning a living difficult for its employees by allowing a manager to illegally keep a portion of workers’ tips and denying overtime pay to salaried cooks who worked an average of 55 hours a week, a recent federal investigation has found.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigation cited R-International Inc., owner of Rinka Restaurant, a Japanese cuisine restaurant located in Ward Village in Kakaako on Oahu, for its violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and recovered $85,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for 13 employees. The division also assessed the employer $10,000 in civil money penalties for the reckless nature of its violations.
“By failing to pay employees all of the tips they earned and refusing to pay overtime rates to cooks as required, the owner of Rinka Restaurant violated the law and demonstrated a reckless disregard for their workers’ rights,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu. “This case should serve as a warning that violating federal law can have costly consequences. We encourage all employers to contact us or use department’s online resources before implementing potentially non-compliant practices.”