Judge: Kan. restaurant failed to pay back wages

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal magistrate has found a Wichita restaurant in contempt for failing to pay workers more than $223,000 in back pay and damages.

U.S. District Judge Karen Humphreys had given the China Star and its owners until Monday to pay the money awarded in a 2008 consent judgment or submit a payment plan. Defense attorney Joseph Cassell told the judge this week his clients were unable to pay the judgment or start a payment plan that would be acceptable to the court.

The U.S. Labor Department announced the contempt order Wednesday. The agency says its investigation found that China Star's workers were paid a flat rate in cash, often less than the minimum wage and without regard to overtime.