A Surfside Beach restaurant owes its employees more than $ 75,000 after a federal investigation found managers defrauded their employees by sharing their tips.
Ten employees of Sarku Hibachi Grill & Buffet were illegally coerced into sharing their tips with the manager and owner of the establishment, according to a press release issued by the US Department of Labor and the Wages and Hours Division.
The Department of Labor investigation found that the owner and manager of Sarku Hibachi Grill & Buffet violated the Fair Labor Standards Act – which sets the federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour – by paying servers less than $ 3 $ per hour and forcing them to share their tips, according to the press release.
The Department of Labor is requiring the restaurant to reimburse $ 75,953 in shared tips and the difference between their hourly wage and the federal minimum wage for hours worked.
The investigation also revealed that the employer did not keep records of the hours worked by the cooks.
“Restaurant waiters are working hard and putting their safety at risk throughout the pandemic. They depend on the tips of the guests to earn a living wage, ”the press release said.
“Restaurant workers are essential workers. They work hard for their tips and rely on them to pay their bills and feed their families, ”Wages and Hours Division District Manager Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina said, according to the press release. .
“Restaurant owners need to understand that it is illegal to keep tips from workers or require workers to share tips with managers or supervisors. “
Benefiel said the US Department of Labor was “just a phone call away” and urged workers who think they might be in arrears to use the division’s online search tool.
This story was originally published August 30, 2021 12:42 pm.