Employees in California are protected by wage and overtime laws, which require employers to: (1) provide the highest available minimum wage; (2) properly count and credit employee’s work hours; (3) pay overtime wages at 1.5 times when an employee works more than 8 hours and double wages when an employee works more than 12 hours in a workday; (4) pay employees timely; (5) provide meal and rest breaks; and (6) provide employers notice of their rights. These laws are well settled and employers have no excuse for noncompliance.
Numerous restaurants in California have recently made the news for the wrong reason: wage theft. These restaurants have been caught:
- La Taqueria, a famous and well established Mexican restaurant in San Francisco was fined by the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement and the California Labor Commissioner for wage and overtime violations, including failing to pay overtime and for failing to pay sick pay. Essentially, the restaurant was taking advantage of employees with informal arrangements, failing to pay overtime, and unlawfully distributing workers’ tips. The restaurant was charged $500,000 in unpaid wages and damages.
- The Cheesecake Factory was held partially liable for $4.6 million after hundreds of janitors complained that they were all deprived of overtime pay. The janitors were working up to ten extra hours per week at the end of their shifts because managers would conduct “walkthroughs” to inspect their work and to make them redo various tasks. They were not getting paid for this extra work.
- Kome Japanese Restaurant and Seafood Buffet and Rangoon Ruby Burmese Cuisine restaurants were fined $10 million total. Hundreds of dishwashers and chefs were paid salaries, but would routinely work 55 plus hours per week—taking home less than minimum wage per hour. The restaurants were also committing wage violations against hosts, servers, and bussers by improperly taking their tips or counting tips toward wages.
While the phenomenon of wage theft isn’t new, it is remarkable that so many California restaurants have been caught and held accountable for taking advantage of their employees. It is an encouraging sign, though, that should motivate you to speak to an attorney if you feel your employer is engaging in wage theft.
Contact Moss Bollinger
Moss Bollinger is an employee’ rights law firm. For years, we have provided tough, intelligent, and effective legal representation to clients who have fallen victim to wage theft. If you are employed, or have been employed for the last four years as a Terminix Technician, call us. We are currently looking into claims that Terminix has failed to pay its Technicians overtime and are not complying with wage and overtime laws. Let us help you determine whether you are entitled to damages. We collect no money from you upfront and do not get paid unless you do. Call us at (866) 535-2994 for a free consultation or contact us online.