After settling a lawsuit again Hao Hao Inc., which did business as Hao Hao Restaurant in Austin, Texas, the U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $70,000 owed to 10 employees for violations of the minimum wage, overtime and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

"The Labor Department holds employers accountable when they do not properly pay their workers and when they endanger the safety of minors by employing them to perform hazardous work," says Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. "In this case, the employer took advantage of low-wage, vulnerable workers who were unaware of their rights provided by the FLSA. The department remains committed to protecting workers and law-abiding employers by ensuring that competitors who ignore their legal obligations do not gain a competitive advantage."

According to investigators, employees who worked up to 65 hours per week were paid fixed salaries that did not comply with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour without overtime pay at time and one-half employees' regular rates for worked hours past 40 in a week. Investigators also discovered that Hao Hao Restaurant hired a 16-year-old to operate, disassemble and clean a power-driven meat slicer, a violation of an FLSA child labor prohibition.

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