Probe: Restaurant owners shortchanged employees nearly $170K

March 2, 2022 GMT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Wage and Hour division has found that KKOKI Korean BBQ restaurant owners in Salem, Portland and Eugene shortchanged 118 employees nearly $170,000.

The investigation report said managers took part of workers’ tips, paid overtime only after workers worked 86 hours rather than 40 hours per week and that the employer failed to keep accurate employee records, The Statesman Journal reported.

A total of $169,728 was recovered, representing $84,864 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Additionally, the report says the division issued $30,199 in penalties for the “willful nature of the employer’s violations,”

Kkoki Korean BBQ owners were not available for comment.

“Wage theft, like that found in this case, hurts these essential workers and their families,” Carrie Aguilar, Wage and Hour Division Director in Portland, said. “Business owners must understand that violations can limit their ability to recruit and retain people who do these jobs.”