Photo by bloomsberries / via Flickr

The operator of Onami Seafood Buffet, located at the Westfield Mission Valley mall, was ordered to pay $29,992 in back wages and damages to two employees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday.

An investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employer, O-Fire Corp., failed to pay two cooks overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, according to WHD investigators.

“Instead, O-Fire paid these workers flat salaries without regard to the number of hours that they worked,” according to a Department of Labor statement, which says the underpaid employees worked 52 hours per week, on average.

The employer also violated the recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA by failing to accurately record the total number of hours employees actually worked, according to the Department of Labor.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring not only that they pay employees all the wages they have legally earned, but also for keeping accurate records of their hours,” said Rodolfo Cortez, the Wage and Hour Division district director in San Diego. “The U.S. Department of Labor provides many tools to help employers in the restaurant industry comply with the law, and we encourage employers and employees alike to contact us for assistance. Violations like these can be avoided.”

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US- WAGE. Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self- report and resolve the violations without litigation through the PAID program.

Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd, including a search tool for employees who suspect they may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

–City News Service

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