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Wage and hour violations common in Los Angeles restaurant industry

When an individual is newly hired, Los Angeles employers trust that the employee will do his or her job duties as expected. Likewise, employees trust that their employers will compensate them for their work as agreed upon when accepting a new job or promotion. Employees also trust that their employers will pay them correctly according to California and federal wage and hour laws.

But according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, violations of wage and hour laws are not uncommon amongst employers in the Los Angeles area. Restaurant workers in particular are frequently victims of wage violations.

In an effort to ensure that restaurant workers receive the pay they are legally entitled to, and to put an end to illegal wage violation practices in the restaurant industry, the Wage and Hour Division announced earlier this year that it will conduct inspections throughout the year to make sure that restaurants in Los Angeles are paying their workers properly.

This is not the first time the Wage and Hour Division has had to conduct unannounced inspections in the area in order to curb pay violations. During previous inspections, the agency discovered that more than 70 percent of inspected Los Angeles restaurants had violated workers' rights by failing to properly pay workers. These restaurants had all violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Some compliance issues included misclassifying workers to avoid paying workers for overtime, failing to pay workers for all of their hours worked, and forcing employees to work during breaks.

During the unannounced inspections, the Wage and Hour Division will closely review restaurants' records in order to determine whether the companies are in compliance with the FLSA. If discrepancies are discovered, some restaurant employees may be entitled to seek compensation for unpaid wages or unpaid overtime.

If you believe that your employer has violated any provisions of the FLSA, you may want to consider working with an attorney in order to determine whether you are also eligible to obtain compensation for unpaid wages or unpaid overtime.

Source: Business Management Daily, "Feds probe pay at restaurants in Los Angeles, San Francisco," July 22, 2012

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