Employees suing Dancing Wasabi restaurant, owner over alleged unpaid wages

CINCINNATI -- Employees of a popular Hyde Park sushi restaurant are suing the eatery and its owner over alleged unpaid wages.

According to a lawsuit filed on Dec. 12, Dancing Wasabi Hyde Park “repeatedly and willfully” violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and paid employees less than minimum wage beginning in early 2012. The lawsuit also claims Dancing Wasabi’s employees were not legally paid for work weeks longer than 40 hours.

It is not stated in the suit if employees received tips.

Minimum wage laws, originally passed as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, were created to prevent market forces from driving down the wages of low earners in the work force. 

The lawsuit also alleges Dancing Wasabi's owner Chang Hee Choi failed to make, keep and preserve adequate and accurate records of employees and their wages.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez is heading the suit against Dancing Wasabi and Choi.

Employees of the business are demanding unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation, as well as other damages.

Dancing Wasabi, which sits at 3520 Edwards Road, is described on its website as an “upscale, fun and casual sushi restaurant.” Before opening in Hyde Park in 2011, the business was located in Mount Lookout.

Restaurant officials have not responded to WCPO for comment on this lawsuit.

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