Employer:   Chili Thai Inc. in PuyallupTNBMEELAP Inc. in SilverdaleMeelapwa Inc. in Tacoma TSA Meelap Inc. in TacomaMeelap Inc. in University PlaceInvestigation findings: A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found five Washington restaurants operated as Chili Thai — under unified operations and common control — did not pay overtime rates for hours over 40 in a workweek in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer paid on a semi-monthly basis and most employees received overtime for hours worked over 88 hours in each pay period instead of after 40 hours, as the law requires. The employer took action to ensure future compliance, changed to bi-weekly pay periods and started to pay overtime for hours beyond 40 per week.Back Wages Recovered:  $64,183 in overtime wages for 51 employees                                                  $64,183 in liquidated damages for 51 employees                                                  $9,163 in civil money penalties for the reckless nature of the violationsQuote: “Chili Thai violated federal overtime regulations by underpaying employees working long hours to provide for themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle. “We urge employers to review their practices and avoid costly consequences for violating the law.”Context: Workers can use the division’s Workers Owed Wages search tool to see if they are owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can contact the Wage and Hour Division for help and assistance at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including the agency’s restaurants compliance assistance toolkit and an overview about the FLSA protections for restaurant workers. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and IOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.  

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