PREGNANT JACK IN THE BOX EMPLOYEE GETS FIRED, THEN GETS 1440 HOURS OF BACK PAY

LFECR FIGHTS FOR ANOTHER WIN —- THIS TIME TO WIN A SETTLEMENT & BACK PAY FOR CALIFORNIA MOTHER

The poorest workers in America are being stolen from the most,” says Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United. Paula Lopez, a pregnant, low-wage fast food worker at a California Jack In The Box recently had her wages stolen and her job taken.

Wage theft and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations are rampant in the restaurant industry. Although all types of wage and hour violations and wrongful termination happen 1000’s of times a year, most violations go unpunished. Not this time.

The Jack In The Box franchise is paying the equivalent of 1440 hours in back pay to settle a matter involving long-time employee Paula Lopez who was allegedly a victim of wage theft and then fired when she was 5-months pregnant. Unlike the many California fast food workers that are unwitting victims of wage theft, Paula knew something was wrong. She decided to learn more about her rights and ask for help. Paula called Lawyers For Employee And Consumer Rights for a free case review.

5 MONTHS PREGNANT AND FIRED – HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

In her 5th month of pregnancy, Paula Lopez used a sick day to take a day off from work. The following day Paula was fired. Allegedly the Taco Bell franchise management staff where she worked knew that Paula was pregnant and knew that she was taking days off because she was pregnant. In most US workplaces, firing someone due to being pregnant is a violation.

According to the United States Department of Labor, The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

DENIED MEAL AND REST BREAKS? IT’S CALLED WAGE THEFT

In addition to being fired unfairly, Paula was also not granted all of her lunch breaks or rest breaks. When fast-food restaurants deny an employee a meal or rest breaks, they are literally stealing money from employees. It’s called wage theft.

Wage theft is when an employer does not pay or underpays employees for time worked. Wage theft can be any of the following:

  • Employers paying less than the minimum wage
  • Paying employees the tipped minimum wage for non-tipped
  • Refusing to provide overtime pay
  • Failing to give workers meal breaks
  • Failing to give workers rest breaks
  • Requiring employees to do off-the-clock work

Wage theft permeates the restaurant industry, from fast-food restaurants to fine dining establishments. According to a recent New York Times editorial, the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division reported almost “84 percent of full-service restaurants it investigated had violated labor standards.”

FAST FOOD EMPLOYEES GET FIRED UNFAIRLY AND HAVE NO IDEA THEY MAY BE OWED MONEY

Fast food restaurants, restaurants of all kinds, will continue to steal wages from employees for one simple reason. They can get away with it.

According to the Institute For Policy Research, “Wage theft is concentrated among low-wage workers, especially women, minorities, non-U.S. citizens, and nonunion workers. An estimated 16.9 percent of low-wage workers experienced a minimum wage violation in 2013. On average, these workers lost nearly a quarter of their income to wage theft, earning $5.92 an hour, on average, versus the $7.68 an hour they would have earned if paid their state’s minimum wage. Certain groups—women, minorities, non-U.S. citizens, and nonunion workers—are all more likely to suffer from wage theft, highlighting its unequal effects.”

1440 HOURS OF BACK PAY FOR BEING FIRED?

Yes! LFECR helps 1000’s of California employees fight for their rights. LFECR helps employees that have been treated unfairly and may be owed money. The only way we can do that is if employees take action to learn their rights. If you or someone you know has been a victim of denied meal/rest breaks, wrongful termination, workplace discrimination, workplace sexual harassment, or any number of employment matters, contact LFECR for a free case review or visit our Facebook page for more information.

Fast food restaurants, restaurants of all kinds, will continue to steal wages from employees for one simple reason. They can get away with it.

Don’t let that happen!

 

 

 

 

 

LOWER WAGE WORKERS AT HIGHER RISK OF HAVING WAGES STOLEN

IS IT SHOCKING THAT CORPORATE AMERICA IS CAUGHT STEALING?

Maybe not. However, it is quite shocking that Corporate America is stealing from the employees that help them generate billions in revenue every year. Wage theft—-when employers fail to pay employees all legally entitled wages—-impacts all employees, across all workplaces, in all states…However, as one might expect, wage theft impacts young workers, women, people of color, and immigrant workers most of all. The majority of workers with reported wages below the minimum wage are over 25 and are native-born U.S. citizens, nearly half are white, more than a quarter have children, and just over half work full time.

“Wage theft is the rule, not the exception, for low-wage workers,” said Michael Hollander, a staff attorney at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. “Low-income workers are already in this fragile balance,” said Victor Narro of the UCLA Labor Center. “One paycheck of not being able to get the wages they’re owed can cause them to lose everything.”

Wage theft is a MASSIVE PROBLEM In the 10 most populated states in the union:

  • Workers in all demographic categories being cheated out of pay
  • 17 percent of all low-wage workers are victims of wage theft
  • Wage theft, like minimum wage violations, affects at least 2.4 million workers
  • Those workers lose $8 billion annually to wage theft, involving a variety of wage and hour violations
  • On average wage theft costs those workers an average of $3,300 per year in wage violations

EMPLOYERS STEAL BILLIONS FROM WORKERS’ PAYCHECKS EACH YEAR! BILLIONS!

According to Good Jobs First, some of the most penalized corporations include:

  • Walmart – $1.4 billion in total wage theft settlements
  • FedEx – $502 million in total wage theft settlements
  • Bank of America – $381 million in total wage theft settlements
  • Wells Fargo – $205 million in total wage theft settlements
  • JPMorgan Chase – $160 million in total wage theft settlements
  • State Farm Insurance – $140 million in total wage theft settlements

IT’S NOT ALWAYS THE HUGE COMPANIES

Recently, Brooklyn District Attorney and the New York City Department of Investigation, announced a Brooklyn construction company pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny for underpaying and committing wage theft against 21 employees. Let’s walk through the elements of this specific case:

According to the New York Daily News, the Brooklyn District Attorney stated that the affected workers were all immigrants,

According to the filing, the Brooklyn construction company falsely certified that it paid these workers at prevailing wage rates ($62 to $63 per hour).

In reality, the Brooklyn construction company only paid between $10 and $17 per hour and no overtime or benefits

At the end of the day, the Brooklyn construction company ended up owing the workers more than $230,000 in restitution.

DO YOU SUSPECT YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF WAGE THEFT?

Learn more about your employee rights. Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits!

Call 888-625-0959.

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