Yesterday brought some small measure of justice to restaurant delivery people everywhere—and a major measure to 36 former delivery workers for a couple of Saigon Grill restaurants in
Manhattan: A federal district court judge awarded them $4.6 million in back pay and damages, finding that Saigon Grill systemically violated minimum wage and overtime laws.
The New York Post headlined the story “IT’S THE FALL OF ‘SAIGON.’” The deliverymen, immigrants from China’s Fujian Province, worked up to 13-hour shifts, often every day of the week, for less than $2 an hour. According to the New York Times, Saigon Grill also “illegally deducted pay—from $20 to $200—when deliverymen committed infractions like letting the restaurant door slam on their way out or failing to log in a delivery.” They were illegally fired when Saigon Grill’s owner learned they planned to file suit. Even in this economy, it doesn’t sound like a good place to put in a job application.