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  • By: Moss Bollinger
  • Published: June 27, 2018
A person using a tablet at a restaurant- Moss Bollinger LLP

Cheesecake Factory is a popular restaurant, with its diverse and crowd-pleasing menu, big portions, delicious desserts, clean atmosphere, and fancy-looking furnishings. Regardless of what day of the week you go, there always seems to be a line to get a table. Unfortunately, Cheesecake Factory just made the news for all the wrong reasons. That’s because the California Labor Commission just found the company liable for $4.5 million for wage and overtime violations.

Janitors Got Ripped Off

The underlying violations here involve janitors who clean and maintain the Cheesecake Factory, who complained that for the last three years, they were being paid below minimum wage, were working far longer than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week yet were not getting paid overtime, were denied rest breaks, and in some cases were forced to work off the clock. Basically every wage and overtime violation you can imagine.

These janitors were subcontracted through a cleaning-services subcontractor, but were subject to the inspection and instruction of Cheesecake Factory managers. These managers would make the janitors work through the night without a break, and would make them stay for an additional unpaid period to make sure their work was satisfactory. It is estimated that these janitors would work 10 hours of overtime per week and not get paid for that time. It was estimated that over the years, these janitors had been screwed out of $70 million in unpaid wages, but were unfortunately limited to a three year statute of limitations. In all, 559 janitors were compensated for unpaid wages and overtime through this ruling.

How was Cheesecake Factory jointly liable with its subcontractor? This is an important question as companies often use subcontractors to try to avoid liability. However, California’s Senate Bill 588, enacted in 2015, afforded employees expanded relief when it comes to wage and overtime violations. This bill essentially allows employees to seek lost wages and damages against both subcontractors and the employers that use those subcontractors.

Wage theft is a big deal, and successful challenges like this one demonstrate that employees have the tools to fight back and enforce their wage and overtime rights.

Moss Bollinger Law Firm

Employers have to follow the law. When they violate your wage and overtime rights, they are stealing from you. If you have worked as a Technician for Terminix in the last three years, you may have a wage and overtime claim and be entitled to damages. Like Cheesecake Factory, Terminix has been caught violating wage and overtime laws in the past. Moss Bollinger is a California employee rights law firm. We can help you determine if you have a claim. We work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you do. Call Moss Bollinger at (310) 982-2291 to schedule a free consultation, or submit an online form.

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