The owners of an Omaha restaurant have been ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $150,000 in back pay and fines. The sentence was handed down to the owners of China Palace Inc. for violating wage laws and record-keeping requirements.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found that the restaurant operators, Mia Hui and Jian Zhang, had failed to pay its workers at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Authorities say they had also not paid employees overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in one week. In addition, the owners had also failed to record some hours employees had worked at all.
The Zhangs will have to pay $145,987 in back wages, liquidated damages and interest to eight current and former employees. They will also have to pay an $8,800 civil penalty.
According to the labor department, the restaurant had been investigated before and had failed to make any changes to come into compliance with the law.
“Employers must pay their employees all the wages they have legally earned,” said Richard Tesarek, WHD assistant district director in Omaha. “This employer had a chance to implement changes and failed to do so.”