Employee sues Chinese buffet over wage violations

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 18, 2010, 4:17am

A restaurant employee has filed a collective action lawsuit against his former employer in an attempt to obtain a minimum wage and unpaid overtime wages.

Alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Jose Armando Miranda Gonzalez filed suit against Hu Jiang Inc., doing business as King Buffet; Jin Zhu Wang; and Li Qiu Jiang on Nov. 8 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

According to the lawsuit, Gonzalez was a salad prep cook working in the buffet style restaurant for approximately $1,500 a month, regardless of the number of hours he worked. He claims he generally worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, as did all other salad prep cooks.

The defendants are accused of not paying Gonzalez minimum wage or time-and-one-half for any hours worked over 40 in one work week.

The lawsuit is a collective action and will include all current and former salad prep cooks paid on a monthly basis and employed by the defendants in the past three-years at their La Porte, Pasadena and Houston locations.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of unpaid wages, unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages and attorney's fees.

Gonzalez is represented by Houston attorney Mark Siurek, Patricia Haylon of Warren & Siurek in Houston and Douglas B. Welmaker in Houston.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:10-cv-00716

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