Cheesecake Factory Involved in Large Wage Violation Lawsuit
In June of 2018, the Cheesecake Factory was recently found in the midst of a wage violation in the amount of a $4.57 million in a case that involves hundreds of janitorial workers who were employed at eight of the restaurant’s locations in California. The lawsuit has served as a potent reminder to many companies about the rights of workers who are hired by contractors. The lawsuit also represents a step forward for workers in the janitorial industry who are frequently left vulnerable to wage theft because they often work unsupervised night shifts, which leaves them with little means to protect or assert their rights.
How the Case Arose
The janitorial workers in question were provided by the contract company, American Janitorial Services, who in turn subcontracted the work to Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning. The janitors who worked at the Cheesecake Factory began shifts around midnight, worked until morning without a proper meal or break periods, and were not allowed to leave until kitchen staff conducted walk-throughs to review the work that had been performed. These walkthrough caused each worker to log up to 10 hours of unpaid overtime each week. Legal counsel on behalf of the janitorial workers commented that this type of behavior is evidence that workers need laws that better protect their rights. As a result of the court’s decision, the owner of Magic Touch is now required to pay the workers nearly $4 million in unpaid wages, overtime, and damages as well as penalties. If Magic Touch fails to pay this amount, the Cheesecake Factory could end up responsible for compensating the workers.
Wage Issues Involving Janitors
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 2,384,600 janitors in the United States are paid an average of $12.02 an hour. Despite state laws, however, many janitorial workers make significantly less than minimum wage because employers are often cash industries, which makes it difficult to document the amount that is paid. While this type of wage theft is common in California, it occurs across the nation.
The Rights of Janitorial Workers
In California and in most states, janitorial workers have similar rights. Janitorial workers are entitled to receive at least minimum wage. Often, this results in janitorial workers being paid twice a month. Workers are also entitled to have a rest period of 10 minutes for every four hours worked. If these breaks are not provided, employers must provide janitorial workers with an extra hour of regular hourly pay for every work day. Workers also have the right to receive meal breaks of at least 30 minutes if they are on the job for longer than five hours. Violations of these rights or other worker rights by employers are not permitted.
Speak with an Experienced Employment Law Attorney
If you believe that your wage and hour rights have been violated, contact a knowledgeable attorney quickly. At Herrmann Law, we have helped many people obtain the compensation that they deserve from their employers. Contact our law firm today to schedule an initial free case evaluation.