An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found Ji Li, owner of LI&YU Restaurant LLC – operating as Bao Bao House – kept all the tips workers received from customers and used the money to pay employees’ wages. Li also failed to keep accurate records. Both are violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The agency has recovered $43,013 in back wages for five employees of the Eugene, Oregon restaurant, $43,013 in liquidated damages for five employees, and accessed $1,725 in penalties.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to protect workers’ rights to keep all their earnings, including tips, and prevent employers from gaining a competitive advantage by reducing their labor costs,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “Customers’ tips to restaurant staff belong to the workers that received them. Any attempt by employers to keep those earnings is a direct violation of tipped workers’ wage rights.”
In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $31.7 million in back wages for workers in the food service industry. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.