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CA employment lawyerAt 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.

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