This is regarding the Bridgeton MO NEw China Buffet, the only one of its kind.IT is not affiliated with the other New China Buffet outside this location despite sharing the same name.
Camilia (Xiuxia) Xiao, her husband, her son Yang and the hostess Charlie (Jiashin (?)) of New China Buffet had been harassing a worker for more than a year. The victim had worked there for three years and repeatedly instructed Camilia to not making derogatory comments about her perceived mental health and weight because "it is unprofessional and obstructs my work." Camilia would retaliate each time by rebutting, "I am the boss! Are you the boss all the sudden? Eat some more and become fatter hahaha!
You eat $50 worth of food for free every single day!" The victim instructed Camilia to not tell lies about her eating habits. The victim stated she had brought some of her own lunch to eat. Camilia Xiao had repeatedly insulted her by saying "everyone makes more tips than (victim). I only hired her because I felt sorry for her!
You are easily the worst worker here!" and would laugh. At different times, Camilia would compliment the worker, repeating the same compliments the customers would give her, "You work very well and always find something to do. This is why I like having you here." The victim would clean up accumulated mildew, mold and dust that was there since she had started employment at the restaurant three years ago. She stated she did not clean this before because there was much work to be done most days.
The other servers, host and boss would always text and watch something entertaining on their cellphones while she worked. The customers had made positive comments about her work ethic. Despite all this, the boss still made derogatory comments about how she was only employed because she felt sorry for her, that she was "the lowest-earning server here" and laughed about it. Camilia Xiao, the owner of New China Buffet, would repeatedly contact the victim's family members about her work ethic.
The victim would inform Camilia to not contact her father over work-related concerns because he and her other family members did not work here. She informed Camilia that it only causes confusion to her family. The victim responded that it made no sense to contact her relatives at all because it's not professional. She believed only members of the management team of New China Buffet should be the ones giving constructive critique since they have the authority and insight over the workplace matters.
This usually resulted in Camilia cackling to the other employees, gloating that the victim "didn't want her daddy to punish her." The victim is an adult with several years of experience in the customer service field, however, this made no difference to how she was treated at work. Despite the reasonings by the victim, Camilia threatened to contact the victim's family one last time over the fact that she contacted the police without pressing charges over her husband hitting her and almost making her drop a glass coffee pitcher. She planned on calling the victim's father's workplace phone and home phone. The victim finally had enough and threatened to call the police on Camilia for harassment in person and by telecommunication.
She informed Camilia that her father should not be interrupted in his work to address this matter. The victim also informed her that her phone number will be blocked. Camilia simply said "o.k." and has not made an attempt to contact her family yet. Camilia Xiao does not pay her servers an hourly wage.
100% of their pay depends on gratuity, yet they still receive a W-2 and have to pay taxes on solely gratuity because hourly pay is nonexistent. Some of the servers did not know how to file taxes regarding gratuity. She used this to her advantage and said she can retaliate against them for reporting any injustice that happens here by reporting them to the tax authorities for underreporting their income. However, she was the one who told the workers in the first place to "not worry about it.
I have your taxes figured out." The workers would not find out until she revealed what she did afterwards. This traps workers into being silent about issues regarding harassment and pay. The pay issues include no hourly wage or attempt to bring gratuity up to minimum wage standards, or instructing servers to pay for 100% of a dine-and-dash bill or any theft she deems as reasonable responsibility of the server with their gratuity. All servers are expected to pay for a dine-and-dash.
They are expected to keep an eye on customers while inside the kitchen or restroom doing side work such as food preparation and restroom cleaning. Yang stated that cleaning the restrooms as part of the sidework is not an excuse to not keep an eye on dine-and-dash. He told her in 2016 that she should watch the customers while inside the restroom cleaning. When she expressed disagreement, he would quickly say "shut up" and resume watching his cell phone.
The harassment ranges from violent physical attacks that happen between the kitchen staff behind closed doors, loud verbal arguements that could be heard across the dining room, or having their personal information shared. Charlie would join in with Camilia and gossip about personal medical information among staff members in front of customers. The victim would instruct the workers to stop because some of the customers can understand Mandarin and may have translating devices. Again, the victim was ridiculed for "trying to be the boss." Charlie would harass the victim in other ways by shifting a disproportionate amount of work to the victim while she went to text.
About late 2016, when the victim was questioning Charlie about college advice, trying to make small talk while preparing silverware, Charlie immediately interrupted her and said "separate the spoons from the silverware." The victim paused and asked again while polishing silverware. Charlie interrupted again. She interrupted the third time with a loud, frustrated groan, and hastily snatched the unpolished spoons and shoved them in the nearest spoon container. Charlie ran to the back of the restaurant to text and eat food.
The victim asked the boss what was wrong. The boss scolded the victim, "You scared her away with all your rambling!" The victim tried to finish the rest of the silverware while tears were welling up in her eyes. The boss asked what was wrong and told her to go wash her face. The victim ran to the restroom and cried.
On other ocassions, Camilia's husband would pressure the victim into tears as well. For half a year, Camilia's husband has been repeatedly assaulting the victim. He whipped the victim with a towel in the dining room. One day, he grasped her arm with weak joints and would not let go, twisting it.
She screamed repeatedly for him to stop because she has a weak joint until he let go. If the weak joint becomes injured, it would not heal completely for years. The last time she twisted her wrist, it took five years to completely heal. He was aggravating the old injury and adding to any permanent damage.
He has repeatedly hit in the back of the head with his open hand. He has kicked her hard in the rear end and calling her "big butt." She alleged she almost dropped a fragile glass pitcher as a result of him slaping her on the back of the head hard on January 14, 2018. She ran out of the kitchen and grabbed the cordless phone belonging to the restaurant. A kitchenworker told them to not let her have that phone.
The victim ran outside to make a phone call to Bridgeton police on January 14, 2018 at approximately 3pm. She ran to the nearest gas station to ask them to help her make the call since the phone suddenly said there was no power at the phone base. At the Phillips 66 gas station, the workers were kind enough to assist her with their business phone. The employee working at the counter saw the victim was too frantic to make the call so he decided to take the phone from her hand and ask a police officer to come by to speak to her at the gas station.
An old acquaintance who was buying something from the store took the phone as well and assisted in the phone call. The acquaintance repeated to the dispatcher the victim's words in the background, "The victim was afraid of outside consequences and did not wish to make a report." When the police officer arrived, she claimed to Bridgeton Police that "he repeatedly obstructs my work and I cannot get anything done if he keeps raising his hand as if to hit me or slaps me and startles me into dropping a fragile object. I am not pressing charges. I just want you to tell him to stop so I can continue my work." The officer saw the victim had no jacket and offered to give her a ride to the restaurant.
She said she would be fine and met him there inside the restaurant. The officer stood in front of the counter, asking for the man who hit the victim. Yang, his son, stated that he did not know the identity of who hit her and that no one here knows. The victim said she did not know his name but he is "their father" and gestured to Yang.
Yang said his father does not hit people. The officer told him to bring his father out. The victim walked away as the officer talked to Yang's father. Before the officer left, the victim shook hands with the officer and thanked him.
She repeated this and additional information to the owner of New China Buffet Camilia (Xiuxia) Xiao that "if I drop a fragile object when he hits me, you will blame me for stealing tea cups and threatening to call the police on me if they go missing like you usually do!" January 14, 2018 Charlie (Jiashin (?)), the hostess, who attends UMSL, joined in with the boss and her son and ridiculed her for calling the police. Charlie, the boss's son and the boss exchanged comments that she "wasn't mentally well." Charlie laughed and made derogatory comments that could be heard from the back of the restaurant about "resorting to becoming a *** for money" The victim walked up to her and asked what she was talking about. Charlie looked worried and said "Oh we were talking about college that's all!" The victim responded that she knew she was not because she could hear her all the way from the back of the restaurant. The boss Camilia came out and grasped Charlie's head, both Charlie and the boss were laughing and shouting "Hurry!
Call the police!" Camilia Xiao insulted the worker by saying "calling the police over such a minor issue!" and stated "In New York, an all-you-can-eat buffet would cost $12. We're cheaper than that! (Victim's name) would eat $50 worth of food every day like she usually does! Eat some more food so you can become fatter!
Hahahahaha!" Camilia told the worker that she did not want to employ her anymore after she had called the police over the "minor issue." She instructed the worker to continue her work until the night to figure out whether or not she should continue working here. Camilia stated that her husband "did all these things by accident, since if it were you, you would probably say 'oh it was all an accident!' When other people do something to you, it's on purpose, but if you do something, it's an accident." Camilia had also reaffirmed her husband's actions when she stated the victim back then would "pat the coworkers on the head, so why couldn't we call the police on you then? Then you would complain when they raise a fist and punch you as if you were so innocent. You aggravate people into hitting you." The victim stated that she knows better now and that it was over one or two years ago but that she should not have received bruises in the first place.
She did restate repeatedly that she had issued an apology and did not commit to the action again since that time. The boss complained "so saying sorry suddenly makes things better? How about we call the police on you then? What you did by calling the police was very serious!" The victim quit the job and shook Camilia Xiao's hand, thanking her for everything and wishing her good luck with her business.
Camilia thanked her in return.The victim walked out the door near the end of the unfinished shift.