Employers in Los Angeles have a right to hold employees accountable for doing their work and job duties. But employers also have an obligation to make sure that they hold themselves accountable for compensating their employees properly for their hard work.

Our blog has discussed many different challenges employees have been faced with in the workplace, but one problem that is affecting hundreds of workers right here in Los Angeles every week is wage theft.

According to researchers from the UCLA Labor Center, about $26.2 million is being withheld from workers in Los Angeles every week. Earlier this month, a popular sushi restaurant in Beverly Hills was fined more than $65,000 for violating wage and hour laws and withholding compensation from employees. The California Labor Commissioner reported that the restaurant unlawfully withheld more than $38,000 from at least three workers.

Wage theft occurs when employers fail to compensate employees for all of their hours worked during a pay period. Wage theft also occurs when workers are told to wait on cashing their paychecks until a certain date has passed even though workers should be able to cash their paychecks immediately. Other workers become victims of wage theft when their employers force them to work overtime but fail to pay workers overtime wages.

According to the California Labor Commissioner, Urasawa was fined for not paying its three workers overtime wages after requiring them to work shifts that exceeded 10 hours. After investigating complaints about wage and hour law violations at the popular restaurant, where customers’ bills may easily total more than $1,000 after their dining experiences, investigators discovered that the restaurant had failed to pay its workers $38,585 for their hours worked.

Another worker claims that he was fired because he was starting to feel ill and asked to go home after already working nine hours. He claims that the restaurant has not compensated him for his final hours worked at the sushi restaurant.

In addition to failing to pay workers overtime wages, the restaurant has also violated laws by failing to provide workers with proper wage statements to show their hours worked and their pay rates during each pay period.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Urasawa, home of $1,111 sushi bill, faces labor-violation fines,” Tiffany Hsu, March 14, 2013

  • Our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law firm handles a wide variety of unpaid overtime claims and other wage violation claims. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Long Beach unpaid overtime lawyers page.