Celebrities Sued Over Allegations of Labor Conditions at Los Angeles Restaurant

A group of celebrity investors have been named in a lawsuit by two men who worked for a restaurant and allege they weren’t paid proper wages and were refused legal break times.

Wage and hour violations in Orange County can make work downright awful. How much an employee was owed for working last week or companies trying to trade overtime for comp. time against California law can make for some of the most contentious and bitter disputes in employment law.
An Orange County Employment Lawyer who has spent years in the courtroom battling corporations over these issues must be considered if this is the case in your workplace. Going ’round and ’round with a boss or up the ladder with a company can be exhausting and unproductive. Get serious.

According to the Los Angeles Times account, two ex-employees claim they were shorted for overtime and weren’t allowed to take breaks for food and break as mandated by law. The former cook alleges he didn’t get more than $28,000 in overtime and a dishwasher suing with him says he was shorted about $5,800 in pay.

The lawsuit comes as the newspaper reported on a study by the Restaurant Opportunities Center in Los Angeles, that found in February that 82 percent of the city’s restaurant workers earn less than a living wage. Most don’t get paid sick days, health insurance or have any way to advance in the company.

The study was based on 562 surveys of workers and 60 interviews with both workers and employers about the conditions of restaurant employment. The study focused on the plight of the restaurant industry’s immigrant population, in particular. The lawsuit was filed by two Hispanic men, though their immigration status isn’t known.

The study makes some interesting, and disturbing, findings about working conditions for those in the restaurant industry in Los Angeles. Every company wants to maximize profits, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of its employees, who make the company what it is.

Sadly, another effect of the Great Recession and poor national economy has been the position it has put companies. In years past, there were fewer eligible workers on the market and companies were forced to treat their workers well in order to keep the best. But as unemployment numbers have risen nationwide — unemployment sat at 9.2 percent in Orange County this June, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics — businesses can use that economic pressure to keep workers quiet.

Thankfully, not all businesses act this way, but with fewer jobs available and more people seeking work, companies have the pick of the litter. But a worker must be treated fairly and must be paid what they should under the law.

If you feel your rights have been violated and are in need an Orange County employment dispute attorney, call the California Employment Law Team at 877-529-4545 to discuss your rights. We offer free consultations in all areas of discrimination and employment law.

More Blog Entries:

Eglin Baylor Continues Fight Against Clippers in California Discrimination Lawsuit: March 31, 2011
Additional Resources:

Gerard Butler among celebs sued in restaurant labor dispute, by Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
New study expected to pain bleak picture of how L.A. restaurant workers are treated, by Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times

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