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Fast food company must pay thousands for employment law violation

A group of out-of-state fast food workers are set to receive thousands of dollars of unpaid wages. The decision comes after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor determined that the company underpaid its workers. While this particular issue took place in a different state, these types of employment law violations are sadly not uncommon in Wisconsin. 

SM Choi Inc. runs four different fast food establishments, although it is not clear how many people the company employs. However, at multiple locations it paid both cooks and cashiers flat salaries rather than the hourly wage that these types of workers typically receive. This ultimately resulted in workers being underpaid for their work, as the salaries did not reflect their hours worked. 

Most of the cooks and cashiers employed by SM Choi Inc. worked an average of five to six days every week. Each shift lasted an average of about 10 hours. In total, the company is accused of shorting workers of $93,146, which they have been ordered to pay their workers. The Department of Labor also ordered the company to shell out $26,121 in fines and an additional $93,146 in liquidated damages. 

Unlike workers who earn an hourly wage and can easily tell when their pay has been wrongly undercut, workers who are paid via salary are sometimes hesitant to speak up about wage discrepancies. However, it is important to speak up about concerns because some Wisconsin companies have their eyes on the bottom line and not on their employees' best interests. In some cases, a civil suit pursued against an employer -- current or former -- can help individuals recover their lost wages and related damages from employment law violations. 

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