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Tampa sushi restaurant shorted workers’ pay by $150,000

The U.S. Department of Labor found Matoi Sushi failed to pay more than a dozen employees what they were owed.
Twelve kitchen workers and a manager at Matoi Sushi were paid wages that sometimes came out to less than $6 per hour, well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Twelve kitchen workers and a manager at Matoi Sushi were paid wages that sometimes came out to less than $6 per hour, well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and archive | Times ]
Published Jun. 9
Updated Jun. 9

Employees at a Tampa sushi restaurant received $150,749 in back pay and damages after the business shorted them on their hourly and overtime pay, the U.S. Department of Labor announced.

Matoi Sushi on N Dale Mabry Highway paid twelve kitchen workers and a manager flat salaries, regardless of how many hours they worked, according to Wage and Hour Division investigators. When employees exceeded 40 hours, this became a violation of overtime laws in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

That means wages sometimes came out to less than $6 per hour, well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Investigators also found a kitchen manager made $230 per week ($11,960 per year), according to a news release. Salaried managers exempt from overtime must be paid at least $684 per week.

“These workers rely on receiving all the wages they have legally earned,” Wage and Hour Division district director Nicolas Ratmiroff said in a release. “Employers may elect to pay workers on any schedule they choose — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any other timeframe. They must, however, still track hours weekly to determine when overtime is due. They must also understand that paying workers a fixed salary does not excuse them automatically from paying overtime.”