MEDFORD, OR – Diners at Misoya Bistro in Medford were likely unaware that, for nearly two years, the owner was withholding nearly all of their workers’ tips.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered $280,124 in back wages for 36 employees after investigators found the employer kept all of their workers’ earned cash and credit card tips except for a minor stipend. Misoya Bistro paid workers an hourly ‘tip wage’ rate that was significantly lower than the actual amount of tips the employees earned.

The investigation also determined Misoya Bistro failed to pay overtime to several employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, another Fair Labor Standards Act violation.

“Restaurant workers are among the nation’s lowest paid and are often unfamiliar with their legal rights regarding tips, minimum wages and overtime. The pandemic made clear these workers are essential to our economy and they must be paid all of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “Employers who violate the law hurt workers and their families. They also gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors who operate legally.”

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). 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.

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