Thai employees mistreated, labor department alleges


Foreign workers at Typhoon, a Thai food restaurant chain, were mistreated and threatened with deportation, according to a complaint filed by the Oregon Labor Department.

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Foreign workers at Typhoon, a Thai food restaurant chain, were mistreated and threatened with deportation, according to a complaint filed by the Oregon Labor Department.

The complaint alleges that Typhoon brought workers from Thailand to the U.S. on so-called investor visas, and then subjected them to hostile living and working conditions.

“The investigation clearly showed workers ended up in a situation they didn’t expect when they got here and they felt trapped,” said state labor commissioner Brad Avakian. “They had low pay and were without the ability to save money and take care of themselves. In that sense, they were in a very vulnerable position.”

The restaurant forced 18 of its workers to live in two apartments and a house, the complaint alleges. The employees were told to take vegetables home and carve them decoratively for the next day, according to the document.

The workers were forced to sign employment agreements that would force them to pay thousands of dollars if they quit, the complaint alleges.

Read more at Businessweek.

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