Indian Restaurant Owes More Than $112K to Eight Kitchen Employees

A South Indian restaurant with locations in Berkeley and San Francisco will have to pay eight of its employees a total of more than $112,000 in back wages dating back to 2011, U.S. Labor Department officials announced today.

Udupi Palace owes $56,288 in back wages to eight kitchen workers who regularly worked up to 60 hours a week but received no overtime pay, federal labor officials said.

The restaurant will also have to pay the same amount in liquidated damages, officials said.

One of the employees at the Berkeley location wasn’t compensated at all because the restaurant claimed the worker was being trained, according to federal labor officials.

The restaurant also did not maintain accurate records of the hours its employees worked, which is a violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, labor officials said.

By failing to pay their employees, the restaurant did not comply with the federal act, which requires employees at least be paid $7.25 an hour in minimum wage for every hour they worked.

Employees must also be paid time and a half for every hour in overtime work.

“Udupi Palace’s hard-working employees will finally get paid the overtime owed to them in the past three years,” Susana Blanco, division director of the department’s wage and hour division, said in a statement.

“These employees worked long hours to support themselves and their families. Denying them wages they rightfully earned made paying the rent and putting food on the table more difficult,” Blanco said.

According to its website, the vegetarian restaurant started in 2000, specializing in dosas and uthappams.

Jamey Padojino, Bay City News

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