Newspaper finds workers underpaid at Asian restaurants

Chinese and Japanese eateries in Hampshire County paid employees less than they were legally due.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A newspaper has uncovered evidence that immigrants working for at least seven Asian restaurants in western Massachusetts were paid well below the state’s $10-an-hour minimum wage.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, in a three-part investigative series launched Wednesday, says Chinese and Japanese eateries in Hampshire County paid employees less than they were legally due.

It quoted Lin Geng, a former sushi chef for the Zen restaurant in downtown Northampton, as saying it took him 14 years to work his way up to minimum wage.

A manager for Zen, which closed in May, denied workers were underpaid.

Labor lawyer Jocelyn Jones, a former head of the state Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division, says many wage violations go unreported by workers who fear deportation or retaliation.

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Information from: Daily Hampshire Gazette, http://www.gazettenet.com

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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