Federal labor officials have charged nine frozen yogurt shops in Washington with violating labor laws, including splitting workers’ tips with managers, failing to pay an overtime rate and breaking child labor laws.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced earlier this week it had recovered about $97,000 in back wages and damages for 330 workers at several frozen yogurt franchises under the Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt umbrella. The department investigated nine sites in Washington and two in Oregon operated by BroYo LLC.

The investigation found BroYo had allowed store managers to take a portion of worker’s tips, had failed to pay an overtime rate when workers clocked more than 40 hours in a week, and had not kept an accurate record of the hours employees worked. 

The department also accused four Washington stores of violating child labor laws by allowing workers under the age of 18 to operate trash compactors.

“BroYo LLC made the jobs of hundreds of food service workers less gainful when they allowed managers to illegally take tips from employees who earned them and denied some workers their overtime pay,” said Thomas Silva, director of the labor department’s Wage and Hour Division in Seattle.

“This employer’s disregard for federal labor laws has had costly consequences,” Silva said. 



The labor department charged BroYo $19,736 in penalties.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, which started in 2007 in Los Angeles, operates about 540 sites in the U.S. and internationally.

Investigators cited franchises in Bellevue, Bonney Lake, Federal Way, Lynnwood, Puyallup, Renton, Tacoma and Vancouver, as well as in Beaverton and Clackamas in Oregon.

BroYo LLC declined to comment on the investigation. Menchie’s could not be reached for comment.