Two US-based Thai massage organisations fined $61,317 in back pay

Thai massage

The US Department of Labor has ordered two San Diego-based Thai massage organisations to award 17 employees a total of $61,317 (£47,192.63) after the businesses failed to pay staff the minimum wage rate or for overtime.

An investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found that Yuanjun International, which operates as Massage Eden, had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by incorrectly classifying its employees as independent contractors. This meant that certain employees were not paid the minimum wage for all the hours they worked, and staff were not paid for completing overtime. In addition, the organisation did not keep accurate payroll records for three of its operating sites across San Diego.

Yuanjun International has been fined $46,555 (£35,831.06) in back pay for 13 employees.

In a separate investigation, the WHD found that Rama Thai Massage had also violated FLSA regulations at two operating sites in San Diego and La Jolla. The organisation is to pay four employees a total of $14,762 (£11,361.57).

Rodolfo Cortez, district director, San Diego at the WHD, said: “The US Department of Labor is committed to ensuring employees receive all wages they have rightfully earned, and encourages all employers to review their pay practices to make certain all employees are classified and paid correctly.

“We urge all employers to make use of the many tools the Department provides to help them understand and comply with the law, and to call us for assistance.”