SANTA ANA — Y.C. Tsai Sewing Enterprises Inc. has been ordered by a federal judge to pay 19 workers $119,000 in back wages and damages.
Tsai Sewing, at 2420 Cape Cod Way in Santa Ana, assembles men's and boys' shirts and shorts for beachwear.
The federal Department of Labor sued Tsai Sewing after an investigation. In a default judgment, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles ordered the firm to pay $59,395 in unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay and an equal amount in damages.
The court found that the company and its two managers, Y.C. Tsai and Russell Lin, didn't pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours a week and didn't pay the minimum wage of $4.25 an hour to the 19 workers between Feb. 1, 1989, and Feb. 28, 1991.
The workers will get amounts from $605 to more than $25,000, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
Neither manager could be reached for comment.
Another Santa Ana garment company operated by a member of the Tsai family, Wear Fashion Co., was also recently ordered by a federal judge to pay back wages to employees.
Wear Fashion, at 2321 Cape Cod Way, was ordered to pay $426,000 in back wages and damages after another Labor Department suit.
The Labor Department said Wear Fashion also did not pay workers minimum wage or overtime. Wear Fashion is owned by Ming Dong (Tony) Tsai, who the Labor Department said is Y.C. Tsai's son, and Ching Chi Liau (Kelly) Tsai.
In that case, the government said Wear Fashion owed workers $212,996 for unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay. A judge agreed and ordered Wear Fashion to pay a similar amount in damages to the workers, who the government said are owed amounts between $174 and $10,725.
Most of the workers are Latino, the Labor Department said.
The neighborhood around Cape Cod Way in southwestern Santa Ana is a center for small sewing operations such as the Tsai family's, the Labor Department said.