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Defunct Sushi Restaurant Owner Pays $35,000 in Ohio Employment Restitution

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Cincinnati, OHThe owner of a popular sushi restaurant that once thrived in Hyde Park has closed the establishment in the wake of an Ohio Employment restitution order requiring him to pay thousands to employees over allegations of unpaid overtime and other violations to Ohio Labor Laws.

According to a report by television news staff at WCPO 9, the US Department of Labor (DOL) brought a lawsuit against owner Charlie Choi and Dancing Wasabi in December of last year amidst allegations that Choi had “repeatedly and willfully” violated various statutes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as Ohio Employment guidelines.

Amongst the Ohio Labor and Employment Law allegations, Choi effectively paid his employees less than minimum wage beginning in early 2012. Employees were also not legally paid for workweeks that extended beyond the traditional 40 hours.

Following an investigation by the DOL, Choi was found not to have kept or preserved adequate and accurate records for his employees, and what they had been paid.

The television station noted in its Ohio State Employment report that US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez brought the civil lawsuit on behalf of employees and the DOL against Dancing Wasabi and Choi. It has been reported the Choi did not contest the Ohio Employment Law allegations, and a default ruling was entered, requiring that Choi repay current and former employees a total of $35,062.02 in lost wages and damages.

It is not known if restitution has been paid. However, it has been reported that Choi, after shuttering Dancing Wasabi, is focusing his complete attention on the Mr. Sushi restaurant, the downtown Cincinnati establishment that Choi recently took over while he was embroiled in the Ohio employment labor law case with the DOL and his former employees of Dancing Wasabi.

Ohio employee rights are entrenched in both state labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which has been around since 1938. Thus, it isn’t as if employers don’t know about fair labor statutes, given that guidelines have been around for more than 75 years. Moreover, employers often flaunt labor laws out of ignorance, unfairness or greed, believing that any fines levied if they are caught will not be as much as the money saved and a benefit to their bottom line by stiffing their employees.

Workers who suspect or have evidence of labor law violations are encouraged to seek legal help in order to achieve compensation and ultimate justice, from a group of highly skilled Ohio Employment attorneys.


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