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Arizona restaurant chain ordered to pay nearly $160K for violating labor act

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PHOENIX — A chain of restaurants in Arizona was ordered to pay nearly $160,000 after an investigation found that it violated a federal labor act, it was announced Wednesday.

Teharu Sushi will pay $158,860 in back wages and liquidated damages to 94 employees working at three of its Arizona locations in Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

The investigation found that the restaurant had overtime and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also assessed $20,940 in civil money penalties.

The restaurants in Tempe, Mesa, and Scottsdale failed to pay employees overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week, the investigation found.

Instead, according to a statement, the employer paid employees at their straight time rates, in cash, for their overtime hours.

“The U.S. Department of Labor encourages all employers to review their pay practices, and to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Eric Murray said in a statement.

“The resolution of cases like this helps ensure all employees are paid the wages they have legally earned, and that all employers operate on a level playing field.”

Investigators also cited the restaurants for failing to maintain accurate payroll records.

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