PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence restaurant has agreed to pay several employees more than $567,000 in back wages after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Kin Wa Ko, the owner of Jacky’s Galaxie, which operates four “pan-asian” restaurants in North Providence, Cumberland, Bristol and at Waterplace Park in Providence, signed a consent order to pay back the wages, and pay a fine of $50,000 to the government, plus interest, though under the agreement they did not admit or deny liability.
The restaurant group now has to pay $567,955.86 in back wages and liquidated damages, as well as interest. They said in the agreement that they’ve been in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 since 2014. Regardless, they were ordered to make sure they do not pay workers at rates less than minimum wage, to make sure they pay time-and-a-half for work weeks longer than 40 hours, and keep good employment, wage and hour records.
The liquidated damages essentially amount to the worker being paid double; if a worker was owed $200, he or she will get that $200 as well as an additional $200.
Some individuals listed in court documents were owed more than $15,000 in back wages. Others, as little as $28.
The Department of Labor had sued Jacky’s on behalf of the workers. The checks will go to the government first, and records of the workers owed wages have to be outlined for the Department of Labor by October 1. The government will then find the workers and give them their back wages; if employees have not claimed their recovered wages within three years, the cash will be deposited into the U.S. Treasury.
Jacky’s must also hire a consultant for the next three years to make sure they continue to pay out wages properly at all of their businesses.