Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act were found throughout California recently, according to a recent enforcement initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. The restaurant industry in the state was being investigated throughout tourist areas in San Francisco and Los Angeles County.
The wage theft issues included violations of minimum wage and overtime provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a result, $672,333 was recovered for 273 employees, including cooks, bus boys, servers and restaurant staff members. The investigation revealed that employees were not paid for all the hours they worked or paid less than minimum wage.
Additional issues included missing payroll information and the failure to pay employees on the scheduled days. Record-keeping issues including the records of employee records and wages were also found to be missing.
The FLSA requires that covered employees must be paid at least $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage. Many of the workers in this case were paid less than that and were working 10-hour shifts, five to six days a week.
Information about the FLSA and labor rights are openly available to employees, via the mandatory posted information in the workplace or online via the Department of Labor website.
For employees who have been mis-paid or ill-treated at work, there are legal options to pursue. Many employers deliberately underpay their employees, while some others may just have poor record-keeping that results in this issue. Speaking with an experienced employee rights attorney can be a great resource to reach a solution.
Source: Latino Daily News, "California Restaurant Workers Recover More Than $672,000 in Unpaid Wages," Dec. 12, 2012