Restaurant liable for more than $600,000 in unpaid wages

Ontario Ministry of Labour rules against Regal Restaurant chain

Following a year long investigation, the Ontario Ministry of Labour found the former directors of Regal Restaurants liable to its former employees for a total amount of $676,693.79 in unpaid wages, overtime pay, minimum wage pay, termination pay, public holiday pay and vacation pay.

From mid to late 2013, Ellen Pun, the owner of the Regal Restaurant chain, closed down all four restaurants in the Toronto area. More than 60 employees lost their jobs in mid-2013 after the owners of Regal Restaurants, Ellen Pub and partner Patsy Lai, closed down four chain restaurants. Workers were not compensated  with termination pay, and most were owed weeks or months of unpaid wages.

A total of 68 individuals filed claims with the Ministry of Labour (MOL) the majority of whom were represented by the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Clnic (MTCSALC).

After a year long investigation, the Ministry issued an order to Pun and Lai, along with 19 companies they own, to pay back some of the monies owed to their former employees. Under the provisions of Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) which were in place at the time of the case, the MOL could only order the employer to pay up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per claim. A number of the employees are owed more than $10,000. 

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