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Richmond Hill stores settle wage-hour case for $840,000

The owner of four Richmond Hill produce and fish stores has agreed to pay $840,000 to settle federal charges that the businesses failed to pay 42 workers minimum wage and overtime.

The U.S. Labor Department sued the four stores, owner June Hyung Kil and store manager Tae Hyung Kil in 2008 charging violations between April 2005 and December 2009.

The department said its investigation showed that current and former employees at Liberty Fruits & Produce Corp., Liberty Fish, Banana Country and Fish World weren't paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours a week.

Federal labor laws mandate that hourly workers earn at least 11/2 times their regular hourly rate for every hour over 40 in a workweek. When overtime rates aren't paid, sometimes the workers' hourly rates for the week fall below the federal minimum, resulting in minimum-wage violations.

The company's lawyer couldn't be reached for comment. The company's owner didn't return repeated phone calls.

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