Judge awards nearly $531K to restaurant employees

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Labor says a federal judge has ordered a Kennewick restaurant's operators to pay nearly $531,000 in back wages and damages to 41 restaurant employees.

The order resolves a lawsuit filed by the Labor Department after an investigation revealed violations of minimum wage, overtime and record keeping regulations at Wok King International Buffet.

The Labor Department says investigations found that some employees worked an average of 63 hours a week without proper overtime pay and some were paid less than the required federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

The operators of the restaurant, Wok King International Buffet Inc. and New Wok King International Buffet Inc., and two company officers were ordered to pay $265,483 in back wages plus an equal amount in liquidated damages.