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The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries says it found substantial evidence the owner of the Typhoon! Restaurant is guilty of civil rights violations against its Thai employees. Steven Kline owns nine restaurants throughout the state, including the Typhoon! Restaurant and Bo's Asian Bistro in Bend. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian filed the complaint against the restaurants last fall: “The Bureau of Labor found substantial civil rights violation evidence that Thai employees were paid less, working longer hours were forced to work during breaks and sometimes even had to take work home with them without being paid.” The Bureau also found that Thai workers were threatened with deportation and forced to sign employment agreements that would require workers to pay Typhoon! thousands of dollars if they were fired. Owner Steven Kline denies the claims, and will present his case before an Administrative Law Judge.

OATH Sees It Differently…

A spokesperson with "Oregonians Against Human Trafficking" says besides the sex trade, abuse of restaurant workers is the other big problem they see. Nina Belles says the allegations against Typhoon! are similar to what victims throughout the northwest tell them: “Where people are brought over from another country to work at a restaurant and promised the American dream. They are promised that they will have nice place to live, fine working conditions, make lots of money, and really have the opportunity to have the American dream.  And then when they get here they are worked the clock around.  They are abused emotionally, physically and many times even sexually." Again, Belles is referring to general allegations. They hear from alleged victims involved in possible trafficking in the restaurant industry. She says these victims won't usually be servers; but in the back doing menial labor, so they often go unnoticed. People who want to report possible human trafficking are encouraged to call 1-888-373-7888.






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