Restaurant chain Onami Seafood Buffet has been ordered to pay $29,992 to two employees in back wages and liquidated damages following a probe by The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor (US DOL).

The WHD conducted an investigation at the company’s location in San Diego, California, and found that the company has paid flat salaries to the two cooks, even though they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.

This is in violation of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to the investigation, the underpaid employees worked 52 hours a week on average.

WHD San Diego district director Rodolfo Cortez said: “Employers are responsible for ensuring not only that they pay employees all the wages they have legally earned, but also for keeping accurate records of their hours.

“The US Department of Labor provides many tools to help employers in the restaurant industry comply with the law, and we encourage employers and employees alike to contact us for assistance. Violations like these can be avoided.”

In addition, Onami Seafood failed to accurately record the total number of work hours of the employees, which is in violation of the recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA.

Last month, the US District Court for Delaware ordered the operator of El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant in Wilmington to pay $264,560 in back wages and liquidated damages to 20 employees.

The court passed the order after the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found that the company violated the minimum and overtime wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).