California Labor Commissioner Reaches $2.6M Settlement with Restaurant

August 13, 2020

The California Labor Commissioner has reached a $2.6 million settlement with the owners of Kome Japanese Seafood & Buffet in Daly City, securing compensation for 133 workers for unpaid minimum wage, overtime and split shift premiums that were uncovered in a 2018 wage theft investigation.

The settlement will also compensate workers for WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) violations, which occurred when the restaurant closed without notice.

The commissioner’s office in June 2018 issued wage assessments and penalties of $5.16 million to Kome Japanese Seafood & Buffet in Daly City including $4,381,461 for unpaid back wages and $780,400 for penalties. The wage theft violations and civil penalties included failure to pay minimum wage, overtime and split shift premiums. In 2019, the civil penalties were adjusted to $754,950 and the unpaid wages were adjusted to $3,575,433 based on evidence presented prior to hearing.

Notification has been delivered to the current and former restaurant workers of their expected settlement payments and workers began receiving checks this month. The workers are receiving settlement payments ranging from $20 to $47,253 with an average of $14,217 per worker. The settlement also includes $55,000 in civil penalties payable to the state.

The commissioner’s office launched its investigation into Kome Japanese Seafood & Buffet after receiving complaints from workers who reported wage theft. The office worked with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and the Chinese Progressive Association, which represented many of the workers who cooperated in the investigation.

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