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!

 

 

 

 

 

CAN FAST FOOD WORKERS SUE THE GIANT FRANCHISES THEY WORK FOR?

If you work for a restaurant – whether it a McDonald’s or the nicest steak house in town – then you have rights. If your employee rights have been violated while working for a restaurant, then legally protecting those rights can be a scary proposition. Most employees have no idea that their rights have been violated, and even if they do they can be too afraid to pursue legal options. Over the years in fact, most fast food chain and/or restaurant franchisee workers whose rights have been violated have not pursued their legal options. Why? Because they think they will not be able to prove the violations.

LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE MANY TIMES WORKERS HAVE WON SETTLEMENTS AGAINST LARGE RESTAURANT COMPANIES

Here is a small sample of multi-million dollar lawsuits and settlements that large restaurant corporations have paid out to unfairly treated employees:

—- In 2015, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of every single server and bartender who worked at restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday.The lawsuit alleged that Ruby Tuesday violated labor law by paying servers and bartenders and other restaurant staff below minimum wage.

—- In 2014, Outback Steakhouse’s parent company was sued in a wage and hour lawsuit. The legal action alleged that employees were asked to donate (as in work for free!) hours to the company. Eventually, Outback Steakhouse agreed to settle for $3 million.

—- In an earlier 2009 lawsuit, Outback Steakhouse agreed to pay more than $19 million in a sex discrimination lawsuit.

—- In 2016, McDonald’s settled a $3.75 million lawsuit claiming it had violated the rights of about 800 California restaurant workers.

—- Just last year, in 2017, the massive Mexican food restaurant Chipotle – with so many California employees – was sued. The lawsuit alleged that Chipolte did not pay overtime.

YES, A SINGLE EMPLOYEE CAN SUE A RESTAURANT

Let’s walk through one example of how you – as a restaurant employee – may be owed money after you have been fired or quit. While there are some exceptions, if you worked more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week, then the restaurant you worked for must pay you an what’s called a “time-and-a-half” overtime rate.

If they did not pay you overtime, then you may be owed money.

In fact, there are many reasons a fired restaurant employee may be owed money.

YES – YOU CAN SUE YOUR EMPLOYER, NO MATTER HOW BIG

If you are a California employee, and your employee rights have been violated, you should not be afraid to contact an employment attorney. It is incredibly easy to contact a California employee rights lawyer that has experience protecting restaurant workers rights.

MOST CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES DO NOT KNOW THEIR RIGHTS!

That’s the unfortunate reality. Most California employees think that just because they work in an “at-will” stare that they have no rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. 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. IM our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter, IG, Medium, LinkedIn, or our blog. Have a great day!

 

HOW MUCH DOES MY BOSS OWE ME IF I AM DISCRIMINATED AGAINST?

That is the million dollar question.

If you get fired for any reason, or quite for any reason, you may be owed money!

Fired For Any Reason?

 

HOW MUCH?

That depends on a number of factors and can be best determined by understanding your workplace rights.

FIRST THINGS FIRST…

One of the lest enviable positions an employee can find themselves in is needing the job AND being harassed or discriminated against at work. What is one supposed to do? You need the job. The money. You need to support your family. BUT…You are being treated unfairly.

FEDERAL LAWS PROTECT YOU, BUT MAYBE NOT AS MUCH AS CALIFORNIA LAW

Federal law does prohibit discrimination by employers; however, California law extends protections to certain groups where federal law may not.

Let’s look at some of the federal laws. The federal laws include but are not limited to:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – This monumental and historical development in glass/group employment protection outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin

The Americans with Disabilities Act – The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 – The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination based on sex.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 – You guessed it. The Age Discrimination Act protects against age-related discrimination.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 – This act “The act bars the use of genetic information in health insurance and employment: it prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that person higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future, and it bars employers from using individuals’ genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions”.

CALIFORNIA LAW GOES EVEN FURTHER TO PROTECT YOU…

Thankfully, California gets even more specific in it’s protection of employees against workplace discrimination:

California’s California Fair Employment and Housing Act of 1959 (FEHA) – This act is a is a powerful California statute used to fight sexual harassment and other forms of unlawful discrimination in employment and housing,

– The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) – Also known as the also known as the Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) program, is a law enacted in 2002 that extends unemployment disability compensation to cover individuals who take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new minor child.

While California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) protects the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, that does not mean that there is no workplace discrimination.

There is workplace discrimination. It happens each and every day.

And you should know your rights.

If you get fired for any reason, or quit for any reason, you may be owed money!

FIRED FOR ANY REASON? CALL 888-625-0959 FOR A FREE CONSULT!

If you have questions right now, Instant Message your question at the LFECR Facebook page. Call Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights today…You may be owed money!