Investigation: Menchie’s locations failed to pay workers, stole tips

Multiple King County locations involved, including Federal Way, Bellevue and two Renton shops.

A federal investigation from the U.S. Department of Labor recovered nearly $97,000 in back wages and liquidated damages from the operator of 11 frozen yogurt shops in Washington and Oregon, including several locations in King County.

Reportedly, the investigation found that store managers had taken a portion of workers’ tips illegally, and failed to pay some workers overtime wages when they worked over 40 hours in a week. The employer also did not keep an accurate record of hours worked.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by BroYo LLC — operator of nine Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt franchises in Washington and two in Oregon — and recovered back wages and damages for 330 workers.

The division also determined the employer violated the FLSA’s child labor regulations at four Washington locations by allowing several minors under 18 to operate trash compactors.

Given the nature of the violations, the division assessed $19,736 in civil money penalties.

The King County Menchie’s locations reportedly involved in these violations include: 14865 Main St. in Bellevue, 1409 S. 348th St. in Federal Way, and two Renton locations at 830 N. 10th St. and 14024 SE Petrovitsky Road.

“Food service workers frequently receive low wages and few benefits. BroYo LLC made the jobs of hundreds of food service workers less gainful when they allowed managers to illegally take tips from employees who earned them and denied some workers their overtime pay,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva in Seattle. “This employer’s disregard for federal labor laws has had costly consequences.”

Started in suburban Los Angeles in 2007, The Dept. of Labor says Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is the world’s largest self-serve, frozen yogurt franchise with approximately 540 locations in the U.S. and abroad.