Restaurant ordered to pay $29,992 in back wages, damages

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SAN DIEGO — The operator of Onami Seafood Buffet was ordered to pay $29,992 in back wages and damages to two employees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday.

An investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the restaurant, located in the Westfield Mission Valley mall, in violation of overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employer, O-Fire Corp., failed to pay two cooks overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, according to WHD investigators.

“Instead, O-Fire paid these workers flat salaries without regard to the number of hours that they worked,” according to a Department of Labor statement, which says the underpaid employees worked 52 hours per week, on average.

The employer also violated the record-keeping requirements of the FLSA by failing to accurately record the total number of hours employees actually worked, according to the Department of Labor.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring not only that they pay employees all the wages they have legally earned, but also for keeping accurate records of their hours,” said Rodolfo Cortez, the Wage and Hour Division district director in San Diego. “The U.S. Department of Labor provides many tools to help employers in the restaurant industry comply with the law, and we encourage employers and employees alike to contact us for assistance. Violations like these can be avoided.”

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