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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!

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