A Palisades Park restaurant has paid three sushi chefs nearly $40,000 in unpaid work wages.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s New Jersey-Asian American Legal Project announced Tuesday that it recovered the pay for three Korean workers from the Pokoo Sushi & Sashimi Restaurant on Broad Avenue.
“The three restaurant workers, all sushi chefs, often worked more than 12 hours a day and rarely got breaks while they were continuously prepping for restaurant patrons and delivery orders,” Elizabeth Koo, a program associate for the New Jersey Asian American Legal Project, said in a statement. “All workers are entitled to payment for the work they performed, regardless of immigration status.”
A woman at the eatery who answered the phone and identified herself as a cashier said the restaurant has been in existence for about six years and that it was not the owner’s intention not to pay the workers. She said business had been tough due to the bad economy.
Still have to pay people! Hello?
Two of the three unnamed workers no longer work at the restaurant, Koo said. She said one of the workers received unpaid wages of more than $20,000, another received more than $12,000 and the third received more than $7,000.
Koo said the men had been told by the restaurant owner that business wasn’t good and that they should wait to be paid.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is a national organization established in 1974. Last month the organization declared Nov. 17-20 as “National Days of Action Against Wage Theft,” in recognition of widespread wage violations that Asian immigrant workers face.