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Court Upholds Restaurant Exploitation Ruling

An appeals court has let stand a ruling against a Chinese restaurateur for making a cook work in slave-like conditions in Lahti.

The restaurant owner had arranged a residence permit and place to stay for the Chinese chef, who arrived in 2005. The employee worked long hours every day that the restaurant was open without any holidays, overtime pay or other benefits.

On Friday, the Kouvola Appeals Court upheld last summer's ruling by the Päijät-Häme District Court, which convicted the restaurateur of extortive work discrimination. The 33-year-old was sentenced to a suspended five-month prison term. He has denied the charges.

The cook was paid 3600 euros for his first three months on the job, but nothing after that. He remained on the job for about two and a half years. He spoke no Finnish and said he had no understanding of Finnish labour laws.

The Kouvola court ordered that the chef be paid just over 70,000 euros in back wages.

Sources: YLE

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