At the beginning of 2019, San Jose workers got a bump in their pay as the city raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While employee rights advocates hail the increase as a step in the right direction, business owners have been grumbling about increased costs. This situation is one that is ripe for wage disputes, particularly in cases where businesses are not in compliance or when they attempt to cut corners in terms of calculating hours. A recent class action lawsuit against a Bay Area eatery provides important clues as to the types of unfair wage actions workers need to be alert for.
Bay Area Eatery Settles Lawsuit for $690,000
Gordo Taqueria is a popular eatery with locations throughout the Bay area. However, the restaurant’s owners have been embroiled in legal battles over the past few years regarding accusations they engaged in unfair and illegal wage practices. A former dishwasher and prep cook initiated a class action lawsuit against the business, which eventually included more than 240 other employees. The dishwasher, who worked at the Berkeley location from 2013 to 2015, alleges that the restaurant owners engaged in a variety of unfair practices, which include:
- Not paying legally required overtime for those who worked 10 to 12-hour shifts;
- Not providing the required rest and meal breaks on longer shifts;
- Miscalculations of employee pay due to poor record keeping practices; and
- Failure to distribute tips to workers as legally required.
The issues raised in the lawsuit may serve as a wake-up call for other workers in the area who have employers engaging in the same types of practices. While Gordo Taqueria admits no wrongdoing in the matter, they did agree to settle the lawsuit and pay the former employees $690,000.
Wage Hikes Sit Uneasy with Some Local Business Owners
When wage disputes such as the above occur, business owners often claim they are only trying to maintain their business. Some local owners are complaining about the recent minimum wage increase in San Jose, claiming it could hurt their profits in the long run and will cause them to have to raise prices. Others are concerned about having to bump the pay amounts for those who already make the required $15 an hour, an added expense they claim to be unable to afford. In these types of situations, it is important for workers to be vigilant in their rights and to carefully review their hours, pay, and benefits for discrepancies or anything that appears out of order.
Contact a Skilled San Jose Attorney for Help
If you suspect problems with your wages and benefits or with the hourly practices of your employer, the Jachimowicz Law Group can provide the legal guidance you need. Request a confidential consultation to discuss your case and contact our skilled San Jose wage and benefit attorneys online or call our office at 408-246-5500 today.