James Beard Award-winning Dong Phuong Bakery in New Orleans East has to pay 43 employees $127,128 in overtime backpay, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
An investigation into the bakery by the Department of Labor found both overtime and record-keeping violations. Workers who exceeded 40 hours per week were not paid overtime wages. Also, the bakery wasn’t keeping payroll records for some employees, paying cash without documenting it in some cases.
The family-owned Vietnemese bakery has run into issues running its bakery business before. From December 2016 and March 18, 2017, the bakery says a faulty internet connection prevented it from charging customers who paid with credit cards, which essentially covered all of king cake season.
The following Mardi Gras season brought the bakery an American Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation. The already popular king cakes became so popular that the bakery couldn’t keep up with demand. (Reportedly, people were scalping them.)
As a result, Dong Phuong stopped selling the cakes anywhere but its bakery in the East, which may have put a pizza restaurant out of business, an issue that could only possibly make sense in the context of New Orleans.
- U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in New Orleans Bakery Wholesaler Paying $127,128 in Overtime Back Wages [US DPT of LABOR]
- Dong Phuong Just Won a James Beard Award [ENOLA]
- Starting Today, It’s Going to Be a Lot Harder to Get a Dong Phuong King Cake [ENOLA]
- Pizza NOLA Shuts Down Following Disappointing King Cake Season [ENOLA]
- Dong Phuong Bakery (Accidentally) Gave Away Free King Cakes All Season [ENOLA]
- All Dong Phuong Coverage [ENOLA]