Going out for sushi is an activity many Los Angeles residents enjoy on a regular basis. For those who make a living in the restaurant industry, there is often plenty of overtime to be found throughout L.A. Those who put in extra hours expect to be paid for their labor - especially in the food industry where more hours can translate into aches and pains at best and exhaustion at worst. For some workers at a local chain of sushi establishments, their extra hours are only now being compensated.
Unfortunately, an employer can commit a wage and hour violation no matter what industry it's in. An experienced wage and hour violation attorney can help a worker in any field understand their situation as well as their rights. A Southern California employer was recently held accountable for cheating various workers, including chefs, out of overtime pay. According to a federal investigation, a local chain offering its patrons ramen and sushi committed violations affecting hundreds of workers at over ten restaurants.
Reportedly, bosses working for the chain docked workers' pay for short breaks and even took time off workers' timecards. Investigators also discovered that some chefs reported working over 90 hours in a single week without overtime pay. The U.S. Labor Department reviewed the matter and now the chain will likely have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars not only in back wages but also in damages.
Wage and hour disputes can be enormously costly to both employees and employers. In the long run, it is generally in everyone's best interests to abide by the law and pay workers their wages due. However, some employers will try to skirt the law and workers will end up paying the price. If one believes he or she has been cheated out of overtime pay, it may be highly reassuring to consult with a legal professional.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Southern California sushi restaurant chain cheated chefs and other staff on overtime, feds say," AP, Jan. 25, 2016