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Owner of Daikokuya ramen restaurant pays $145,000 in overtime back wages

August 24, 2011 | 12:03 pm

Daikokuya Employees working overtime to serve the crowds at Little Tokyo’s Daikokuya ramen restaurant weren’t properly paid for their extra hours, according to a government agency.

Los Angeles-based Daikokuya owner Bishamon Group Restaurants will pay $145,000 in back wages to 66 employees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The agency’s wage and hour division found violations at seven of the company’s sites in Monterey Park, Covina, Arcadia, Costa Mesa and downtown Los Angeles. Investigators found that dishwashers, prep cooks and cooks working overtime weren’t being paid their mandated time-and-a-half wages.

Most of the employees affected were Spanish-speakers; the rest spoke Japanese.

“Our law protects workers regardless of their immigration status,” said Kimchi Bui, district director for the wage and hour division’s Los Angeles branch. “But these violations are very common. Our hope is to make sure there’s a fair playing field out there.”

As of February, there are 257,000 restaurant workers in Los Angeles County, according to the agency.


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Photo: Daikokuya in downtown L.A.'s bustling Little Tokyo. Sixty-six employees at the restaurant were not paid properly for extra hours worked, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times