Federal lawsuit alleges two Kansas restaurants violated wage laws

Mr.  Cao Steakhouse in Hutchinson.

The US Department of Labor has filed a suit in federal court in Wichita against the owners of Mr. Cao’s restaurant in Hutchinson and Daimaru Steakhouse in Salina for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act related to tips, overtime and sick leave.

The suit is seeking damages of at least $783,000.

Calling the company’s actions “willful” and citing a similar suit it settled with the Salina restaurant in 2016, the federal agency is also seeking liquidated damages and a permanent injunction against the business and its owner and manager, Jason Cao.

It’s unclear if the liquidated damages are part of the amount listed.

Jason Cao declined to comment.

The allegations involve an investigation into employment and pay practices at Mr. Cao’s from July 29, 2018, through July 25, 2020, and at Daimaru in Salina from Sept. 3, 2018, through Aug. 30, 2020, according to the suit filed July 28.

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