As you may know, the Typhoon, the Thai restaurant chain has been beset by delinquent taxes and labor problems for years. They have been sued by employees so many times, I have to wonder why they are such a magnet, even though they don’t always lose the cases. There have been so many suits at this point, it is getting hard to keep up. Most recently,
In September 2010, the restaurant was the subject of a state civil rights complaint, accusing them of “discriminating against Thai cooks by paying them less, denying them raises, providing them less vacation time and requiring them to work longer hours than U.S.-born workers. …He also accused Typhoon of forcing chefs to sign labor agreements that negated their civil rights — and then retaliating and harassing two chefs when they refused to sign the pacts.”
January 2011, a lien was placed against the chain for $1.5 million for unpaid state and Federal taxes.
February of 2011, their NW Everett street location was seized by the landlord for $27,217.00 in unpaid rent, though they were able to reopen within 24 hours.
March 2011, Typhoon! vendors filed a series of lawsuits in Multnomah County Circuit Court for alleged unpaid produce bills.
July 2011, A federal arbitration panel this week awarded a former Typhoon chef $268,000, ruling discriminated based on the chef’s Thai origin and workers compensation claim and owed her unpaid overtime.
The three-person panel in Portland also suggested the restaurant chain was abusing a U.S. State Department treaty program which the chain has used for more than a decade to recruit dozens of chefs from Thailand.
Now, according to this story in Willamette week, they have refused to appear at a Bureau of Labor and Industries hearing on June 24th, and are insisting a civil court trial sort out their allegations of civil-rights abuse and wage-and-hour violations. (For some reason WW’s linkbacks are not working properly)
As I said, you just have to wonder what they are thinking.