Florida Keys

A Key West restaurant didn’t pay workers overtime. It now owes them $72,000.

A sushi restaurant in Key West is in trouble for failing to pay workers overtime.
A sushi restaurant in Key West is in trouble for failing to pay workers overtime.

A Key West sushi restaurant owes 15 employees $72,425 in back wages and damages after a federal investigation showed overtime and record-keeping violations.

East on the West Side Inc., which operates as Ambrosia at 1401 Simonton St., didn’t stick to the Fair Labor Standards Act after it hired employees through a staffing agency called Phoenix ADB Services, the U.S. Department of Labor said on Tuesday.

The restaurant paid the workers straight-time for all the hours they worked and failed to pay overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in one week, the federal agency said.

Ambrosia also failed to maintain time and payroll records and didn’t display the required federal minimum wage poster.

The restaurant’s owners didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment.

Violations like these can be avoided by getting in touch with the Department of Labor, the agency said.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring they pay employees properly for all the hours that they work whether they are hired directly by the company or through a staffing agency,” said Tony Pham, Wage and Hour Division District Director in Miami.

“We encourage employers to contact us with any questions they may have, and to use the variety of tools we offer to help them understand their obligations and to comply with the law,” Pham said.

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