Restaurant Suntory to Pay $369K - Labor Violations

Restaurant Suntory to Pay $369K – Labor Violations

The US Department of Labor (DOL) Recovers Nearly $369K in Wages and Damages for 16 Workers Who Were Denied Overtime Pay by Prominent Oahu Restaurant, Restaurant Suntory.

Owned by Japan’s Suntory Holdings, Restaurant Suntory assessed $12,105 in penalties.

HONOLULU, HI (STL.News) The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered $368,992 in back wages and damages for 16 employees of an Oahu restaurant — owned by one of Japan’s largest brewing and distilling companies — whose operators denied overtime wages to salaried cooks and chefs, some of whom worked up to 70 hours per week.

Investigators determined Restaurant Suntory wrongly excluded these salaried employees from overtime eligibility and, by doing so, did not pay them legally required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.  The restaurant also failed to keep accurate wage records.

The division recovered $184,496 in unpaid overtime and an equal amount in liquidated damages for the affected employees, some of whom the employer owed as much as $46,000 in back pay.  In addition, the department assessed Suntory $12,105 in civil money penalties for its reckless disregard of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“The outcome of our investigation at Restaurant Suntory should serve to remind restaurant industry employers that they cannot simply ignore the rights of kitchen staff to overtime wages because these employees are paid on a fixed salary basis,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu.  “Employers must pay workers who cook and prepare food for customers overtime rates for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.”

“We strongly encourage restaurant industry employers to use the free resources we offer, including our compliance assistance toolkits, to avoid costly violations like those found in this case,” Trotter added.

Owned by Suntory Holdings, Restaurant Suntory opened in Waikiki in 1980 and is the sole remaining Restaurant Suntory in the US.  Founded in 1899, Suntory Holdings is a global provider of premium spirits, beer and wine, brewed teas, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, ready?to?drink coffee and energy drinks, and health and wellness products.  Its product line includes American spirits Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark as well as Sauza Tequila and the popular non?alcoholic beverage, Orangina.  The company operates in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania and had a reported annual revenue of $20.4 billion in 2020.



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