The bosses at Royal India have no trouble lying to your face about their pattern of abusive behavior. Wage theft? They’ve never heard of it! Unpaid taxes? Certainly not!
Unfortunately for them, public records obtained by SeaSol don’t lie. When a worker in Washington State is robbed by their employer, they can file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). If the state finds in favor of the worker and the employer doesn’t pay, a warrant is eventually issued that becomes part of public court records. Guess how many wage theft warrants Royal India has?
- December 16, 2020: Wage theft warrant for $5,657
- April 13, 2022: Wage theft warrant for $3,729
- April 13, 2022: Wage theft warrant for $7,595
- January 18, 2023: Wage theft warrant for $2,767
- January 18, 2023: Wage theft warrant for $2,664
It’s easy to check this yourself. Just go to the L&I website’s wage violations page and search for Royal India. We still can’t tell if these workers were ever paid their stolen wages, let’s hope so.
But that’s not the only way the Bhatti family steals from workers and our community. They also don’t pay worker’s comp, payroll taxes or unemployment insurance.
When a business employs a worker, they’re also required to pay payroll taxes that go to the worker’s Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and unemployment insurance. They must send a W-2 form to the IRS and the worker documenting the wages and taxes paid. We’ve heard from several workers who haven’t gotten W-2s, meaning Royal India is most likely not paying these taxes. So it’s not surprising that we found these nine tax citations against Royal India.
- October 19, 2018: Unpaid tax warrant ($10,829)
- February 20, 2019: Unpaid tax warrant ($14,345)
- February 20, 2019: Unpaid tax warrant ($16,940)
- May 28, 2019: Unpaid tax warrant ($9,295)
- July 31, 2019: Unpaid tax warrant ($20,595)
- August 10, 2022: Unpaid tax warrant ($47,173)
- November 27, 2017: Unpaid workers’ comp warrant ($3,418)
- January 31, 2020: Unpaid unemployment tax warrant ($12,352)
- February 17, 2023: Unpaid workers’ comp warrant ($2,706)
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Why? Let us explain.
Reporting wage theft to the Department of Labor and Industries can be a long and intimidating process for working people, especially when they don’t speak fluent English. The bosses at Royal India have a history of threatening workers to scare them into silence.
Even when workers know and exercise their legal rights, the Labor and Industries (L&I) enforcement process is slow. When a worker files a claim, it takes 60 days for L&I to make a judgment. After that they may issue a citation to the employer. The employer can appeal, delaying the process further. When the worker finally wins, the state will “make every attempt to, but cannot guarantee, collection”. In other words, they don’t guarantee you’ll get paid. Good luck getting Royal India to pay when their vendors, the taxman, and their own landlord couldn’t.
When you’re struggling to make rent because you haven’t been paid for weeks or months of work, slogging through this bureaucracy might not be your best bet. Bosses know this; too often they get away with it because wage theft is hard to fight.
Consider this: you’ve had only a taste of the Bhatti family’s predatory behavior. Like many things you’d taste at Royal India, it’s dirtier than the owners let on. For them, robbing and abusing workers is a routine part of their business. Royal India’s bosses can threaten, lie, and bully all they want, but they can’t hide anymore. The evidence of their thieving is right there for the world to see.