Portland Business Journal reports that the now closed Typhoon restaurant chain is being sued by its two original chefs for nearly $5 million in damages. As you may remember, the chain closed in February 2012 after one of the owners, Steve Kline, died. In 2011, A federal arbitration panel awarded a former Typhoon chef $268,000, ruling the Tigard-based restaurant chain discriminated based on the chef’s Thai origin and workers compensation claim and owed her unpaid overtime.
According to the Journal,
Suchart “Maha” Treemeth and Nauljira “Nuan” Treemeth, who are married, were among the first Thai chefs to come to Portland to work for Typhoon!, the troubled restaurant chain that triggered complaints it mistreated its foreign workers. Now permanent residents of the U.S., the Treemeths operate a Thai food card in downtown Portland.
The lawsuit alleges Typhoon! required its Thai workers to sign employment contracts and subjected them to different conditions than employees who were U.S. citizens or permanent resident workers.