10/30/2012 03:17 EDT | Updated 10/30/2012 04:27 EDT

Bad Boss Award To Bon's Off Broadway Diner


A discount diner in East Vancouver has won the dubious distinction of “Bad Boss” from a B.C. employee rights group.

Bon’s Off Broadway was awarded a “Bad Boss Award” on Tuesday from the Employee Action Rights Network (EARN) which has fielded complaints from the restaurant’s current and former employees.

“What does a $2.99 breakfast in Vancouver cost? In this case, the rights and wages of the people who work there,” said Stephen Von Sychowski, a spokesman for EARN, in a news release.

The award was created by the group to highlight situations where government policies fail to protect non-unionized workers’ rights. Bon’s was given the award for “what appears to be a “flagrant disregard for minimum wage and overtime laws.”

A current employee alleges in an affidavit provided by EARN that he/she is paid $6 per hour as a server, despite B.C.’s current minimum wage being $10.25.

A former employee alleges in another affidavit that he/she was paid less than minimum wage, and was not given vacation pay, overtime, or record of wages.

That affidavit claims the owner paid him/her with cash from the till with the only documentation being a slip of paper.

The former worker also claims that “due to lack of Occupational Health and Safety training, people often injured themselves on equipment in the kitchen.”

Restaurant owner Bon Wong denies the claims, and says they come from staff that were "let go." He told News 1130 that he takes $2 per hour from each server as a tip out for bussing.

Employee Christine Cayer told the radio station she's been working at the restaurant for almost 17 years and that Wong is a good boss.

EARN has asked the Employment Standards Branch to investigate. If it’s concluded that that minimum wage, vacation and overtime have not been paid, the employer is liable for six months of past payment to all current and former employees.

Von Sychowski said young workers often put up with “unfair and illegal management practices” because they’re afraid to lose their jobs in a tough market.