News

Feds: Pleasanton restaurant cited for violating overtime pay regulations

New Thai Bistro ordered to repay workers $172,862 in withheld wages

A popular Thai restaurant in Pleasanton must pay back more than $172,000 to workers after a federal investigation unearthed violations in overtime law.

New Thai Bistro, located in a small shopping center at Valley Avenue and Santa Rita Road, was the focus of an investigation that analyzed the period from March 2016 until January 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

"Our goal is to pair compliance assistance with rigorous enforcement to ensure that employers follow the rules and that employees receive the pay they have legally earned," WHD district director Susana Blanco said in a statement Friday announcing the New Thai Bistro finding.

The agency enforces requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that cover overtime pay, as well as federal minimum wage, child labor and record keeping.

Investigators said the restaurant violated overtime requirements of federal law by paying workers "flat rates per day or per week, without regard to the number of hours they actually worked." Overtime payment at time-and-a-half of workers' regular wages when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek is required under the law but New Thai Bistro only paid their employees at straight-time rates, according to the agency.

Some servers worked four hours of weekly overtime while other kitchen staff including chefs worked up to 11 hours of overtime each week, the WHD said. The restaurant must pay 14 employees a combined total of $172,862, plus a civil penalty to WHD of $1,974 "due to the willful nature of the violations found."

The restaurant was open for business as usual Tuesday evening, but management could not be reached for comment.

New Thai Bistro has won the Pleasanton Weekly Readers' Choice award for Best Thai Restaurant each of the past three years, as voted upon by Weekly's readers.

The U.S. Department of Labor encourages employers to visit their website for tools and resources to help comply with federal law. For more information about the FLSA, visit www.dol.gov or call the WHD's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employees who think they may be owed back wages can visit www.dol.gov/whd.

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Pay Fairly
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 7, 2019 at 10:35 am

Good! So unfair to cheat the employees. I won’t be returning to this restaurant. Now go after Sultan kabob at Koll Center - I know they pay some youth workers ‘under the table’ thereby cheating the employee and the government.


5 people like this
Posted by Brad
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 7, 2019 at 11:04 am

Brad is a registered user.

Good reporting. EVERYONE should obey the Law. Those who think they do not have to follow the Law weaken our economy and our COUNTRY.


4 people like this
Posted by Overtime Rules
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 7, 2019 at 11:25 am

Check the facts PW regarding overtime rules in State of California.
It's not just after 40 hours in a workweek.
Regulations are as follows for non-exempt workers ….
Any hours worked over 8 per day at 1 ½ times regular pay rate.
Any hours worked over 40 per week at 1 ½ times regular pay rate.
First 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day worked at 1 ½ times regular pay rate.
Any work in excess of 12 hours per day at 2 times regular rate.
Any work in excess of 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day at 2 times regular rate.


3 people like this
Posted by Claudette McDermott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2019 at 12:34 pm

I think it's ridiculous when business purposely underpay their employees. Make no mistake, this business owner knew what they were supposed to do but chose otherwise, to keep more money in their pocket.

There is a veiled threat of losing jobs when you complain to businesses such as this. It's time workers get paid properly without fear, and Business Owners start playing fair! I think the fine should have been much higher as there are probably many other companies that do the same and get away with it.

Honesty and Fairness will bring and keep the best employees. Stiffer fines will keep more businesses honest and remove the temptation to try to save a buck in this very dishonorable practice.


36 people like this
Posted by Sanctuary State Hypocrisy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2019 at 1:14 pm

I find it interesting that people in this state are concerned about "following the law" when it comes to fair payroll practices but are willing to ignore people not following our immigration laws - both entering the county illegally and hiring people who do not have the right to legally work in this country.

Can someone help me understand this hypocrisy?


6 people like this
Posted by Sanctuary State
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 7, 2019 at 1:17 pm

I find it interesting that people in CA are concerned about "following the law" when it comes to fair payroll practices but are willing to ignore people not following our immigration laws - both entering the county illegally and hiring people who do not have the right to legally work in this country.

Can someone help me understand this?


17 people like this
Posted by idrownkittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2019 at 6:52 pm

I find it interesting that people are so interested in enforcing immigration law but are willing to ignore people repeatedly obstructing justice, violating campaign finance laws, violating charitable foundation laws, defrauding people using a fake "university", and providing false statements to federal investigators.

Can someone help me understand this?


5 people like this
Posted by idrownkittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2019 at 6:55 pm

Whoops, almost forgot sexually assaulting two dozen women.


5 people like this
Posted by annoyed human
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2019 at 7:41 pm

I find it interesting..... to see our obsessed conservatives managed to get in 3 nearly identical comments about immigration. Well aren't you just precious. Surprised nothing about emails too

Can someone help me understand this?


Like this comment
Posted by Chas Bell
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm

The feds enforce federal law. So citing local laws is irrelevant.


6 people like this
Posted by PleasantonTaxpayer
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 7, 2019 at 8:03 pm

PleasantonTaxpayer is a registered user.

Someone wrote:
"but are willing to ignore people repeatedly obstructing justice, violating campaign finance laws, violating charitable foundation laws, defrauding people using a fake "university", and providing false statements to federal investigators. "

Do you really have to attack Hillary Clinton? Come on, give it a rest.


Like this comment
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Aug 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Yawn!

Please stop defending lawbreakers because you don't like that other people defend other lawbreakers. It's lazy, it adds nothing to our civil discourse, and it's boring.


4 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 8, 2019 at 1:53 pm

Zero tolerance for defending lawbreakers - along any lines. There are consequences.


1 person likes this
Posted by Our Gobernment
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm

Why did it take them 32 plus months to analyze the problem? Typical Government investigators - probably got a free lunch and dinner during the investigation and charged us tax payers.


3 people like this
Posted by MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
a resident of Castlewood
on Aug 9, 2019 at 3:11 am

TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP 2020 !!!


Like this comment
Posted by Rafal Garcia
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 9, 2019 at 8:37 am

I am a Pleasanton resident and local guid. I will definitely will NOT return to this location. It is a shame to treat your employees in such a way. They're the ones who make the company go round aling with the customers.


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