Two Ukiah California Restaurants Have Been Fined Over $1.9 Million Dollars for Wage Violations

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su fined two Ukiah restaurants over $1.9 million for wage theft violations committed against 47 workers over a three-year period.

The co-owners, Yaowapha Ritdet and Steve Walter, are being held both individually and jointly liable for Labor Code violations found at their two establishments: WT Yupin, Inc., dba Walter Café, and Yupin, Inc., dba Ruen Tong Thai Cuisine.

Based on a joint investigation by the Labor Commissioner’s office and the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL), the state found that during the three year period from June 19, 2010 through June 15, 2013, workers of the two restaurants regularly worked at least 11.5 hours a day, 6 or up to 7 days a week with no meal breaks, no minimum wage for all the hours worked, and no overtime premium pay as required by law. Additionally, some of the workers were forced to sign time cards containing falsified information stating they had only worked between five and six hours each day while others were paid in cash with no information on the total hours worked, rate of pay or deductions provided.

The 47 workers are due $1,086,435.79 in unpaid minimum wage, $376,640.31 in unpaid overtime and $153,582.41 for no meal period premiums. In addition, a total of $189,250 as civil penalties were assessed for violating the minimum wage and overtime laws, and for not providing workers the required wage statements, which shall contain accurate information regarding their rate of pay and hours actually worked. 

Among its wide-ranging enforcement responsibilities, the Labor Commissioner’s office inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses and educates the public on labor laws.
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