Over $375K recovered in Bonsai Teriyaki wage theft case

MEDFORD, Ore. – A federal investigation revealed that a Medford restaurant illegally kept thousands of dollars of wages and tips from employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Bonsai Teriyaki and Sushi kept servers’ tips, threatened to fire employees if they kept cash tips, and failed to pay kitchen workers overtime.

“Wage theft is a serious concern for restaurant industry workers, often low-wage earners who are vulnerable and reluctant to complain,” explained Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar. “Our investigation found Bonsai Teriyaki and Sushi withheld hard-earned wages from servers deliberately and denied overtime pay to others. Its outcome shows the U.S. Department of Labor will defend workers’ rights and hold to account those employers who cheat their employees.”

Investigators were able to recover $187,616 in back wages and $187,616 in liquidated damages for 11 workers. That makes for a total of $375,233.

The federal government also fined the employer $5,091.

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