U.S. Department of Labor Tells Us It's Suing Chan Dara

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A Thai tangle Photo: Stevendepolo via Flickr

An email from the U.S. Department of Labor (we stopped being Facebook pals in March) tells us that the government agency has slapped both locations of Thai restaurant Chan Dara, located on Larchmont and West Pico, with lawsuits over violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The suits stem from an investigation that discovered the restaurants were intentionally withholding $104,807 in proper time-and-a-half overtime wages to employees working ten-to-sixteen hour shifts (Chan Dara was only paying a straight hourly wage) and failing to maintain required records over two years between 2009 and 2011. An employer acknowledged he was keeping two sets of payroll records, one full of misleading information. In addition, the lawsuit maintains that Chan Dara fired employees that attempted to stand up for their Fair Labor rights.

A director with the Wage and Hour Division named, get this, Kimchi Bui claims, "This employer not only failed to pay workers according to the law, but apparently retaliated against employees. The defendants continue to withhold payments of unpaid overtime compensation due to their employees. We will not tolerate these actions, and will demand restitution, seek penalties and take legal action when necessary to protect vulnerable workers from employers who demonstrate a clear disregard for the law.

The same email also acknowledges that the restaurants have already paid a $10,000 fine for willfully violating the act.