The U.S. Department of Labor on Monday ordered the owner of Xaga Sushi in Hewlett and Merrick to pay $261,887 in back wages and damages to 70 low-wage workers.
The owner, Mei Yu Zhang, president of Grand Saga Restaurant Inc. and Xaga Sushi Restaurant Inc., will also pay $26,322 in civil penalties.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the two restaurants violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employees who regularly worked from 42 to 50 hours per week were paid a flat monthly salary with no overtime pay.
The restaurants also operated an illegal tip pool in which tipped employees were required to share their tips with kitchen staff, employees were paid in cash and adequate payroll records were not kept by the restaurants.