Medford restaurant ordered to pay $375K after withholding tips and wages

MEDFORD, Ore. – The U.S. Department of Labor said a restaurant in Medford kept employees tips and denied overtime wages, all of it, illegally.

The restaurant, Bonsai Teriyaki, is located in South Medford.

A federal investigation revealed it withheld $187,000 in back wages from 11 workers.

It must now pay $187,000 in liquidated damages

The Department of Labor also assessed $5,000 in civil penalties.

According to the department, the business collected and withheld cash and credit card tips earned by workers, warning them they’d be fired if they failed to give up cash tips.

“These folks were not managers, they didn’t meet any of these tests that are required to be passed in order to be paid on a salary,” Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar said. “So they were entitled to overtime and fortunately we were able to compute it and collect it from this employer”

Employees affected will receive anywhere from $16,000 to $93,000 in back wages and liquidated damages.

We reached out to bonsai teriyaki for comment today, but neither an owner or manager was available to comment.


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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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