Pho Clement employees awarded $316k in wage theft case; one location closes
A group of immigrant workers from the Pho Clement (239 Clement) and Pho Clement 2 (5423 Geary) restaurants here in the Richmond District were recently awarded more than $316,000 in a major wage theft case.
California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su brought the suit against the Pho Clement restaurants after complaints from employees that they were not being properly paid for overtime hours.
California law states that an employer must pay overtime to any employee who works more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. When an employee works more than 8 hours in a day, or beyond 6 consecutive days, he or she is entitled to one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay. An employee is due double their amount of regular pay when he or she works beyond 8 hours on the 7(th) consecutive working day, or if he or she works beyond 12 hours in one workday. More on wages & hours laws in CA
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.”
Listen to the KCBS report: http://richmondsfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/WageSuit.mp3
The settlement reached requires that the employers pay each of the eight employees an amount ranging from $17,432 up to $85,114 depending upon the amount of unpaid wages they were owed.
It was a collaborative effort between workers, legal and community advocates and the state that resulted in the settlement.
“This case is an example of the effective partnerships we can have with community based organizations who share the goal of strong enforcement of labor laws,” said Labor Commissioner Julie Su. “The Asian Law Caucus, Chinese Progressive Association and the Progressive Workers Alliance assisted us in conducting the thorough investigation that led to our ability to get the wages owed into workers’ pockets.”
Changes have taken place at the two restaurants in the neighborhood. The Pho Clement 2 location has been closed for several weeks and the original location on Clement Street changed its name to “Good Noodle Restaurant” in early January.
We have not been able to confirm if the Geary Street closure is permanent or temporary, or if it is related to the settlement in this case. But based on the name change of the original restaurant and the closure of the second location, it’s likely that Pho Clement will no longer be operating in the Richmond District.
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5:05 am | Posted under Business | 17 comments
My husband used to eat at Pho Clement 2 all the time. He ran into one of the employees last week and that employee indicated that the owners were also stealing tips.
I was at ‘Good Noodle’ a few weeks ago and it was the same staff, same menu as ‘Pho Clement’. Name change to avoid trouble, I wonder?
This is disappointing… Don’t think I’ll eat here again any time soon.
Yeah, disappointing, that was my favorite pho place. Anyone have a recommendation for another place in the neighborhood?
I really enjoy Perilla which is in the Sunset on Irving. However, they also own PPQ Dungeness Island on Clement, so it may be just as good.
5.fela cutie said:
turtle tower on geary and 21st has the best pho in the city. also, the pho at cafe bahn mi on clement and 5th is pretty delicious.
I ate at these places on a regular basis for quite a while. Both were quite good. That is horrible news though…not a way to treat your employees; the owners should be prosecuted for this.
J, since they are paying $316 grand, it sounds like they were prosecuted.
Can we do something about the horrible awnings on Clement st.? Helvetica font + MS Paint a beautiful sign they do not make.
Justice. Almost. Why aren’t the offending perpetrators named? They should be shamed in the press for doing what they did, and their neighbors should know that they committed *grand larceny*. That’s what this amounts to. How do they get away with not being named? Are they hiding behind some corporate wall that keeps their sorry butts away from exposure? This is just like the banks, where a wire release will say something like “BofA was fined $xxxMillion for wrongdoing for blah, blah, blah” but they never name the people who let it happen or carried out the misdeed.
Why does this bother me? Because most everyone else who commits even the smallest crime resulting in arrest often has a reputation ruined – sometimes for making even a small mistake in judgment.
damn shame. best broth around. but shame on owners. that poor little old lady with the limp…
Wow. That is a shame. I always assumed they were mostly 1 family. I know there was a husband and wife, and I would see the 2 kids doing homework at a table, and I assumed the real old lady and man (who are super nice) were the grandparents. For some reason it sucks more that they were always really nice, and then to find this out.
I gotta say, the soup at Cafe Bunn Mi is pretty darn great. Definitely a different atmosphere, but quite tasty. And more consistent with their cuts of meat.
12.Chris B said:
13.Mike G said:
It sounds to me like the owners simply changed the name so the negativity associated with Pho Clement would dissipate. This often happens to bars and nightclubs once they have taken a downward spiral; same ownership, just a new name.
14.Why has there been a rush of restaurant wage violation busts? | orlandoovertime said:
[...] citations. It was (at least) the third similar case in recent weeks, following in the footsteps of Pho Clement and Blue [...]
15.Local biz behaving badly – again. Fune Ya owner convicted by feds | Richmond District Blog of San Francisco (richmondsfblog.com) said:
[...] there was Pho Clement not paying employees properly for overtime hours (to the tune of a $316,000 [...]
I liked them both and went to Pho Clement 1 on occaision when I lived in the Richmond.
However, I became turned off by Pho Clement 2 after I bought what was advertised as fresh orange juice, but turned out to be Tampico. It didn’t help that other spots in the area were out of OJ, and I was suffering from a really nasty cold/flu (that was probably the first time in 4 days I had left the apartment). The $3 cost didn’t help either. I never went back to that location.
I’m still bitter that I didn’t go west to 25th & Clement (home of the best fresh squeezed OJ ever) instead.
Dude, was there last week and had the number 2. The Bo Vein was rodent. It tasted like lemons. I took the owner and he said it tasted fine. I just wanted to bring it to his attention and didn’t mind but to act like he accuse the customer of not knowing a customer to frequent his store is horrible. I know my pho and when the bo vein tastes like lemons, it’s bad. So I google them and found this crap out. They should be out of business for keeping the employees tips. Won’t be there no more.
Jasmine in the Castro has good pho. Pho Saigon in Emeryville is awesome. Pho Hoa Hiep on Irving St is salty and the portions are less than most places. Perilla is NOT AUTHENTIC. THANKS FOR COMING.