HomeChinese AmericanPatrick Mock & Joy Luck Palace accused of not paying $900,000 in...

Patrick Mock & Joy Luck Palace accused of not paying $900,000 in wages

By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent

New York Chinatown business leader Patrick Mock, whose received acclaim for his charity work, is accused along with five other defendants of not paying back wages totaling about $945,000.

In 2019, the US District Court in New York ordered Mock, along with Yong Jin Chan, Tak M Yee, Qing Wen Chen, aka Tony Chen and the now closed Joy Luck Palace; to pay 19 former employees of the restaurant after the workers accused them of failure to pay minimum wage and overtime.

The defendants lost the case when they failed to show up to court to defend themselves, according to court papers obtained by AsAmNews.

Mock has rubbed shoulders with some of New York’s most powerful elected leaders and even received accolades from actor Will Smith for his work during the pandemic to feed Chinatown residents struggling to make ends meet.

Among those Mock names on his website as supporters of his food program are Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou and District Leader Jenny Low.

Mock is the manager and face of 46 Mott Bakery in New York’s Chinatown.

Vincent or Jin Ming Cao is one of the 19 former employees who sued for back wages. The court ordered the defendants to pay him $64,283 and he says he has not seen a penny of that judgment.

“They destroyed our jobs,” Cao said in a phone interview with AsAmNews. “They shut down the restaurant without letting us know.”

He said a dispute among the owners lead to the closure of the Joy Luck Palace in 2019. He described the dim sum business as brisk during the day and the restaurant filled with patrons attending banquets in the evening.

He said the restaurant failed to pay the workers the last two months before its closure. He also accuses the owners of not paying minimum wage and overtime during his nearly two years working for them.

Sarah Ahn of the Worker Center, a non-profit fighting for better working conditions, has been helping the workers with their struggle.

“It’s a common problem,” said Ahn. “You get a judgment and then its impossible to collect.”

She says in many cases, restaurants will close down and then reopen under a new name without paying court judgments.

“The attitude we often face is go an find the money. Go and get it if you can,” she said to AsAmNews.

She said the workers are speaking out now because they see Mock getting positive publicity and soliciting donations, yet they say Mock has not paid his own workers.

AsAmNews attempted to reach Mock both on May 5 and today May 6 by phone and email, but have yet to hear back.

Bakery owner Patrick Mock addresses the crowd at the They Can't Burn Us All rally
Bakery owner Patrick Mock addresses the crowd at the They Can’t Burn Us All rally. AsAmNews photo

“This is what people are so upset about,” said Ahn. “He’s gotten all of this praise. This is a boss who didn’t pay two months of wages. Didn’t pay OT. How is it we can’t get our money back and we have this court judgment. Meanwhile he can get money from the community and get money from public officials.”

AsAmNews this morning also reached out to Assemblywoman Niou, who the workers are asking to disassociate with Mock. We were unsuccessful.

We will update this story should we hear back from Mock, any of the defendants or Assemblywoman Niou.

Workers named in the lawsuit are owed individually anywhere from $11471 to $65,947.

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our  Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story or making a contribution



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading