SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — The United States Department of Labor said several Upstate Japanese restaurants illegally kept tips and paid cooks a fixed salary for all hours worked, including overtime.

The investigation found that five local Japan House restaurants violated federal laws governing tipped wages and overtime in the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the US Department of Labor.

The department recovered $80,212 in back wages for 52 workers from restaurant owners, Fa Fa 318 LLC and Sanxi Inc.

“Today’s workers have the ability to choose employers who pay full wages and respect workers’ rights. Food service industry employers who comply with labor laws and appreciate the dignity of work will have the greatest appeal to workers, whether they’re joining the workforce or looking for new job opportunities,” said US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “We encourage employers and employees to contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions or concerns regarding pay practices.”

The five Japan House restaurant locations cited by the department of labor are listed below:

  • 1989 E. Main St., Suite A, Spartanburg, SC 29307
  • 1703 John B. White Sr. Blvd., Suite C, Spartanburg, SC 29301
  • 2252 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Springs, SC 29316
  • 11010 Asheville Highway, Inman, SC 29349
  • 2795 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746