SEATTLE – A federal investigation recovered $96,973 in back wages and liquidated damages from the operator of 11 frozen yogurt shops in Washington and Oregon who allowed store managers to take a portion of workers’ tips illegally, and failed to pay some workers overtime wages when they worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The employer also did not keep an accurate record of hours worked.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by BroYo LLC – operator of nine Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt franchises in Washington and two in Oregon, and recovered back wages and damages for 330 workers.
The division also determined the employer violated the FLSA’s child labor regulations at four Washington locations by allowing several minors under 18 to operate trash compactors.
Given the nature of the violations, the division assessed $19,736 in civil money penalties.
“Food service workers frequently receive low wages and few benefits. BroYo LLC made the jobs of hundreds of food service workers less gainful when they allowed managers to illegally take tips from employees who earned them and denied some workers their overtime pay,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle. “This employer’s disregard for federal labor laws has had costly consequences. We encourage other food service employers to review their pay practices to prevent violations and contact the Wage and Hour Division for compliance assistance.”
The following Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt locations were included in the investigation:
14865 Main St.
14024 SE Petrovitsky Road
4502 S Steele St.
1409 S 348th St.
7902 NE 6th Ave.
2902 164th St.
12325 SW Horizon Blvd.
10306 156th St.
8950 SE Sunnyside Road
830 N 10th St.
Started in suburban Los Angeles in 2007, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is the world’s largest self-serve, frozen yogurt franchise with approximately 540 locations in the U.S. and abroad.
Since 2016, the Wage and Hour Division has conducted more than 25,000 investigations of food service establishments, recovering more than $195 million in back wages for more than 195,000 workers throughout the nation. The division provides restaurant employers a compliance assistance toolkit and encourages routine self-assessment of pay practices.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. You may also call toll-free 1-866-4US-WAGE to speak directly and confidentially to a trained Wage and Hour Division professional. The division protects workers regardless of immigration status, and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages.