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Miyo’s restaurant chain agrees to pay workers $44,000 in back wages


Staff Report
Published Feb. 25, 2013

A chain of seven Miyo’s restaurants individually owned and operated by Xiaolan “Michelle” Wang and Rui “Ray” Cao has agreed to pay 97 employees $44,441 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department.

The investigation by the agency’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions.

The investigation occurred at Miyo’s, 922 S. Main St.; M Cafe, 1417 Sumter St.; M Vista, 701 Lady St.; Miyo’s, 3250 Forest Drive; Miyo’s, 715 Fashion Drive; and Miyo’s, 1220 Bower Parkway, and 5594 Sunset Blvd., Lexington.

“At all seven Miyo’s restaurant locations we found many low-wage employees working long hours, without any overtime compensation, and at times earning wages far below the federal minimum wage,” said Michelle Garvey, director of the division’s Columbia office. “Unfortunately, these types of labor violations are all too common in the restaurant industry.”

Investigators interviewed employees, reviewed time and payroll records and examined employment practices to determine if the chain was in compliance with the law, the agency said. Investigators found systemic violations at all seven restaurants “resulting from the employer’s failure to properly record and compensate employees for all work hours,” the agency added.

In addition to paying the back wages owed in this case, the chain agreed to comply with the law by keeping accurate records of employees’ work hours, wages and other required employment information; paying all employees at least the federal minimum wage; and providing overtime compensation and informing employees in advance that the tip credit will be used.

Since 2009, the agency’s Columbia District Office has concluded more than 300 restaurant investigations, resulting in the recovery of more than $2.5 million in back wages for more than 2,500 workers.

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