Articles Tagged with wage theft

A janitorial company in Anaheim is being sued by the state of California for allegedly paying some 150 works just $400 monthly in wages over the past four years. As the Orange County Register reports, that is far below the minimum wage, which is why California Attorney General Xavier Becerra reports the firm has become a top priority for his office.wage and hour theft

The janitorial firm reportedly serves an estimated 80 major retailers throughout Southern California, including Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory and JoAnne’s Fabrics. These retailers, however, are not accused of any wrongdoing because they contract the work to a Pennsylvania-based firm that specializes in subcontracting such services. As our employment law attorneys can explain, this kind of subcontracting arrangement is typical in the retail sector as well as others, as it shields them from wage-and-hour lawsuits. Wage theft and other claims are common in these industries, and affected workers range from janitors (as in this case) to garment workers.

But while the retailers did not directly employ the workers, Becerra was quoted by the Register as saying he hopes the lawsuit puts large retailers and other firms on notice about such practices. Even if workers aren’t getting a paycheck from the retailer, they are still working within their facilities and in furtherance of their business, and that may be grounds to establish some level of responsibility. Continue reading

McDonald’s Corp. continues to insist it isn’t a joint employer of workers employed by franchise restaurants. Nonetheless, it agreed to pay nearly $4 million to settle a lawsuit over the labor law violations of a franchisee – and it’s a move that has many other large companies sitting uneasy. mcdonalds

Attorneys for 800 workers employed at five different restaurants owned by a single franchisee announced in a federal district court in California that the international fast-food chain, based in Illinois, would pay $1.75 million in back pay to the workers and $2 million in legal fees. The class action lawsuit alleged that McDonald’s, alongside its franchisee, Smith Family LP, was in violation of California labor laws for its:

  • Failure to pay overtime;
  • Failure to maintain accurate records;
  • Failure to reimburse workers for time they spent cleaning their uniforms.

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Anyone who has worked in the service industry for any amount of time knows that wage theft is rampant in the restaurant business. But allegedly, national pizza chain Domino’s baked a rigged system right into their payroll software. pizza

The New York Attorney General’s office has filed a lawsuit against Domino’s – both the parent company and the franchise, as joint employers – for systematically cheating workers out of money they were owed. The lawsuit follows a years-long investigation that produced a digital paper trail from each franchised pizza shop straight to the corporate headquarters.

The wage theft lawsuit, which names three franchises plus the corporate parent company, alleges workers were underpaid at least $565,000 at 10 stores throughout New York. This case marks the first time that the attorney general in New York has asserted a fast food corporation is liable as a joint employer for labor violations that occur at franchises. It’s a closely watched case because it could mean greater accountability throughout the industry if the attorney general prevails.  Continue reading

Employee wage theft is a serious problem in California. The problem is one that can affect all workers, but the many foreign-born workers in California are disproportionately affected, as unscrupulous employers may take advantage of workers who do not speak fluent English.

heres-is-a-tip-1022839-mAccording to a recent news article from the Monterey Herald, California state legislatures have advanced a “wage theft” bill to protect workers. Specifically, Senate Bill 588 (SB 588), a proposal that passed by 24 to 12 vote, makes it easier for the state to collect wages owed to workers. The bill allows the state labor commissioner to file a lien on the property of an employer who is illegally withholding wages from an employee. Continue reading

It is a sad fact some unscrupulous employers will stop at nothing to make money, even when that involves taking advantage of their hardworking employees. According to a recent news article from Orange County Breeze, three employers were recently arrested and charged with stealing wages from their employees on a public works project.

davestressedAuthorities say one businessman has been charged with four felony counts of conspiracy to take employee wages earned during a public works project, over 30 counts of taking employee wages on a public works project, 20 felony counts of tax evasion, 4 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, and an additional 10 counts of conspiracy to file false or counterfeited documents. Continue reading