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Unpaid Wages On A Roll, A Sushi Roll That Is

June 26th, 2019 Victoria Breese

There is an emerging trend among sushi restaurants across the United States. Many employees at sushi restaurants are not getting paid their rightfully earned wages. Unpaid wage violations happen when restaurant owners don’t follow minimum wage, overtime wage, and tip credit laws. Not paying employees in accordance with these laws is illegal. Employees who have not been paid their rightful earnings can take legal action to recover their wages from restaurant owners. Learn about the various wage violations below. 

Sushi Restaurants Commit Rampant Violations

Sushi restaurants all over the United States have committed various labor law violations. In Philadelphia this year, the owners of Osaka, a sushi restaurant, settled a case that required the owners to pay employees nearly $1 million in back wages to 201 employees. The owners illegally pocketed customer tips and refused to pay overtime wages. Eligible employees must earn time and a half their usual hourly rate if they work over 40 hours within one week. In Miami, a sushi restaurant owed its employees $72,000 in unpaid overtime wages. A New York sushi restaurant, Sushi Nakazawa, was hit with a class action unpaid overtime lawsuit. In Brooklyn, New York, Omiya Sushi has been sued for not paying employees proper minimum wages, and spread-of-hours wages. New York spread-of-hours laws require eligible workers whose workday is over ten hours to receive an extra hour of pay at the basic minimum hourly rate. Additionally, New York City’s minimum wage is currently $15 an hour for employers with more than 11 employees. For smaller employers, the minimum wage is $13.50. 

Explaining This Legal Trend

These kinds of illegal employment trends are far too common in the restaurant industry. Restaurants are competitive businesses that often struggle with profit margins. Restaurant employees also often work long hours in order to make a living. Restaurant owners frequently and illegally alter employee wages in order to increase profit margins. So, why sushi restaurants? Well, many sushi restaurant owners and employees were not born in the United States. Foreign-born employees may be less familiar with labor laws in the United States compared to those of their home countries. Interestingly, although sushi originates from Japan, many sushi restaurants are owned by Chinese immigrants. Still, American-owned restaurants face the same profit-margin issues as foreign-owned restaurants. No matter the owner, the wages of vulnerable employees are at risk if a restaurant is struggling to increase profits. 

Seek Legal Assistance

If you have not been paid your rightful earnings at work, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel. You don’t pay unless we win.