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Delivery Workers Vindicated with $4 Million in Damages

Federal Court forces New York restaurant to pay back wages and overtime

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dozens of delivery workers celebrated their recent court victory and award of more than $4 million outside the upper west side restaurant - Saigon Grill yesterday. WNYC's Kathleen Horan has more: REPORTER: The delivery worker-plaintiffs, 36 in all, say they weren't paid minimum wage, which isn't unheard of in the restaurant industry since they also make tips. But most also worked about 80 hours a week and did not receive overtime. The labor violations didn't stop there. Many of the workers say they were often fined from $20 to $200 for taking too long making a delivery, or for even slamming a door. Ku Yu Gwan worked at the Saigon grill for more than ten years. He says through a translator that he never thought the workers had any recourse because their immigration status kept them on the lowest rung of society. GWAN: (through translator) Even the boss felt like we were a group of people that no one cared about. REPORTER: Advocates say more workers than ever before have been coming forward and that the court decision will only increase that. For WNYC, I'm Kathleen Horan.

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