Udupi Palace, the popular southern Indian restaurant with San Francisco and Berkeley locations known for dosa and vegetarian fare, has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The department's finding, reports Inside Scoop, is that the business violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The restaurants failed to pay workers overtime, for one thing. Employees "routinely worked up to 60 hours per wee with no overtime pay," reads a press release from the Department of Labor. For that, Udupi Palace has been ordered to pay eight kitchen employees a total of $56,288 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, totalling about $112,000.
Further, the investigation revealed that Udupi Palace wasn't paying minimum wage to a worker reportedly in training. In fact, that employee may not have been paid at all, and will receive $500 in back wages.
Last, and perhaps part of these other problems, accurate records of employee hours weren't kept by the business.
The violations and their revelation call to mind Yank Sing, the dim sum restaurant that agreed to pay $4 million in back wages and benefits to its workers this past November. That came after regulators from the state found instances of minimum wage and overtime violations and even tip theft at the hands of managers.
As SFist pointed out then, the National Employment Law Project estimates that that 1 in 4 low-wage workers in Chicago, L.A., and New York is not earning a minimum wage, nor receiving overtime. And, back in 2013, Inside Scoop noted a report that found SF's restaurant industry to be the worst for local wage violations.