Fat Salmon Sushi workers settle wage theft case

Protesters rally outside of Fat Salmon earlier this year. Credit: File Photo
Protesters rally outside of Fat Salmon earlier this year. Credit: File Photo

Owners of Fat Salmon have settled this week with five former employees who accused the Center City sushi restaurant of engaging in wage theft.

The $40,000 settlement comes just seven months after three of those workers initially went on strike, joined later by two other employees who said gratuities were withheld from the workers.

“We’re definitely satisfied with this,” said Fabricio Rodriguez, of Restaurant Opportunities Center. “The owner of Fat Salmon — once we went public — really did everything in his power to fix the situation quickly.”

The workers had alleged the restaurant illegally withheld between 3 and 30 percent of the tips earned. In 2011, the Gratuities Protection Bill made that practice illegal.

“This is one small example of something that is really widespread in our city,” Rodriguez said. “It parallels what the Department of Labor has also found: two-thirds of people have suffered some form of wage theft. We’re trying to elevate this as an issue so the workforce is more aware of these problems.”

The three workers who went on strike — Diane Allinger, Claire Trindle and Jeff Spencer — were joined by Justine Barbary and Sean Schweitzer earlier this year and called on the help of ROC, a non-profit worker center, and Galfand Berger LLP.

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