Immigrant Workers At SF Restaurant Awarded $316K In Wage Theft Case

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A group of immigrants who worked at a Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco’s Richmond District have been awarded more than $300,000 in a major wage theft case.

Luong Vuong was a waiter for more than a year at the Pho Clement restaurant. He said through a translator on Wednesday that he came forward in August after working 12.5 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week without tips or breaks for about $5 an hour.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Shaw San Liu with the Chinese Progressive Association said that Vuong and seven co-workers were all victims of wage theft.

“Wage theft is one of the many ways in which this economic inequality is manifesting itself and hurting our communities,” she said.

The Association helped the workers sue Pho Clement and a settlement was reached in the case, awarding them $316,000.

Donna Chen with the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement said their priority is to ensure minimum wage and other work laws are followed.

“We are very proud of you for coming forward to provide us the information and letting us know about your poor working conditions,” said Chen.

It’s estimated that wage theft costs California workers $8 billion a year, with many of the victims immigrants.

Several other investigations have been launched since San Francisco enacted a wage theft ordinance in September.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Anna Duckworth
  • Jeff Stone

    who cares? lol

    • Canadian lingo

      Jiffey , If you can take the time to write, then quite obviously you care! Stupid question Aye?

  • Vanessa d'Ambrosio

    OK…but what wasn’t addressed iin the article is if these are illegal immigrants. If they are illegal, shouldn’t the owners be pursued for hiring illegals also? Next is shouldn’t DHS and ICS be alerted to look into this business further?

    • Mark

      Good point ! Whatever the immigration status of these workers, this is yet another reason to put a stop to illegal immigration…STOP slavery in this country ! Many businesses and companies treating their employees like garbage and profiting at the same time.

  • deadzone

    So much for that $5.50 bowl of noodles. That price just went up to $8.95.

  • joe

    It’s time to start treating minority businesses just like other business in California and make them play by all the rules. What does diversity mean to a minority owened business? is there equal opportunity for any other race in a asain or hispanic resteraunt? No, but if it’s Mcdonnalds or anything non minority then you bet the rules are different.

  • Pho Clement employees awarded $316k in wage theft case; one location closes | Richmond District Blog of San Francisco (

    […] KCBS spoke to one of the restaurant’s former employees, Luong Vuong, who was a waiter for more than a year at the Pho Clement restaurant. Vuong came forward last August after “working 12.5 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week without tips or breaks for about $5 an hour.” […]

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