Wage Theft

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Addie
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Wage Theft

#1

Post by Addie » Wed May 02, 2018 11:20 am

NJ.com
These 24 N.J. gas stations stiffed workers out of $2M in wages, OT pay

Owners of 24 gas stations in New Jersey will have to pay attendants more than $2 million in back compensation for failing to pay workers minimum wage and overtime since January 2017.

The federal Department of Labor's Wage and Hours Division found the stations violated fair labor regulations for 87 employees and failed to keep accurate time and payroll records, the agency said Monday.

"The Wage and Hour Division works to ensure that employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned," said the Charlene Rachor, WHD's Southern New Jersey District Office Director.

Federal rules require a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime for employees who worked more than 40 hours a week. ...

More than $1.4 million of the back pay is owed by one owner, Manjit Guleria, who operate five of the listed Citgo stations and the Merchantville Lukoil. The Department of Labor's investigation showed Guleria required employees to work at least 10 hours a day, seven days a week, authorities said.


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Re: Wage Theft

#2

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:19 am

San Francisco Chronicle
California cites seven Bay Area restaurants for $10 million wage theft

Showing an aggressive approach to the multibillion-dollar problem of wage theft in California, state investigators have cited seven Bay Area restaurants for more than $10 million in stolen wages.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement said Thursday that it cited the restaurants for wage violations. Half of the $10 million comes from wages allegedly stolen from 133 workers at a single restaurant, Kome Japanese Seafood Buffet in Daly City.

The allegations of wage violations include failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, as well as illegal accounting for tips, the state said.

Wage theft, worker advocates and state officials say, affects vulnerable populations and is a drag on the state’s economy. Restaurant owners and lawyers representing them, meanwhile, say that record keeping and compliance with a variety of laws is a challenge, particularly for small operators.

David Leung, an owner of Kome, denies the claims against his restaurant, and said he plans to appeal the citation.

“Servers are liars, they always want more, they want more money,” Leung told The Chronicle. ...

Wage theft costs California workers up to $2 billion a year, a report from the Economic Policy Institute estimates. Recent citations issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which Su oversees, include a $7 million charge against six residential care facilities in Los Angeles and a $500,000 charge against a Los Angeles restaurant.


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Re: Wage Theft

#3

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:37 am

KTLA
California’s Top Court Rules Workers Must Be Paid for Off-The-Clock Tasks

California’s Supreme Court ruled that employers must pay workers for the time they spend completing off-the-clock tasks, such as locking up after work.

The decision, issued this week, marks a win for labor advocates who say requiring hourly workers to spend minutes doing unpaid tasks amounts to wage theft. Business groups say the ruling will embolden frivolous lawsuits and cost companies money.

A federal law, called the Fair Labor Standards Act, generally allows companies to avoid compensating employees for time spent on duties the law describes as trivial or too difficult to track.

In its majority opinion, the California Supreme Court said the federal rule does not apply in the state when it comes to certain off-the-clock tasks performed by employees.

It’s the result of a six-year legal battle between Starbucks and Douglas Troester, a California worker who sued the company for not paying him for closing tasks that he said took four to 10 additional minutes after he clocked out each day.

Over the 17 months of Troester’s employment at Starbucks, the unpaid time added up to more than $100, according to court documents.


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ZekeB
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Re: Wage Theft

#4

Post by ZekeB » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:09 am

Two minutes to lock the door behind you, no problem. Ten minutes to close the shop down? That should be done on the clock. Two employers I had drew the time at seven minutes. You could clock in or out within seven minutes of starting or quitting time and it was logged as regular hours. Even at that you’d get called on the carpet if you regularly clocked in minutes late.


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dunstvangeet
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Re: Wage Theft

#5

Post by dunstvangeet » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:33 am

ZekeB wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:09 am
Two minutes to lock the door behind you, no problem. Ten minutes to close the shop down? That should be done on the clock. Two employers I had drew the time at seven minutes. You could clock in or out within seven minutes of starting or quitting time and it was logged as regular hours. Even at that you’d get called on the carpet if you regularly clocked in minutes late.
That's probably because they rounded everything to the nearest quarter-hour (therefore 7 minutes would be paid on stopping time, 8 minutes would be paid a quarter-hour more).

I was at a call center who did that, and abused the heck out of it. We were expected to be on the phone the minute we started our shift (anytime I used to set up my computer, and get ready for the shift was largely unpaid, but was necessary to maintain my sanity), and we were expected to be on the phones until the minute we ended our shift (finishing up the phone call you were on, logging off the computer, etc. was largely unpaid). Other than our 2 15-minute breaks, and 30-minute lunch, we got I think a total of 7 minutes (on an 8-hour shift) of time where we could be off of taking calls (such as a needed bathroom break.

But low and behold if we were 1 minute late coming back from a break or lunch (which were measured down to the second).

Other wonderful things that they did: with their people taking calls and escalations, there was no set shifts, just shift blocks. You only got to know on Thursday what your shifts for the next week would be. And they'd never actually schedule for 40 hours. The most I'd ever get is somewhere around 38-39 hours. They did not want to pay overtime.



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Re: Wage Theft

#6

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:42 pm

WaPo
D.C. board won’t penalize company at center of massive wage theft case

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine is suing a Florida-based electrical contractor that has worked on some of the city’s most high-profile construction projects, saying the company is at the heart of the largest wage theft case his office has ever prosecuted.

But a District regulatory board that vets contractors says it won’t penalize the company, Power Design, and will continue to allow it to participate in an apprenticeship program highly valued by companies in the building trades.

The allegations against Power Design are concerning, said Fred Howell, chair of the D.C. Apprenticeship Council, which considers applications to the program. But because the lawsuit doesn’t involve workers in the apprenticeship program, the council isn’t responsible for holding the company accountable, he said. ...

But another member of the Apprenticeship Council asked his colleagues to consider rescinding Power Design’s apprenticeship program until the lawsuit is resolved.

“We as a council are sanctioning them on behalf of the District government,” Steve Lanning said at the meeting. “Serious issues have been raised now about the business practices that I think, we as a council, we don’t want to just greenlight this.”

Racine (D) filed his lawsuit in August, alleging Power Design misclassified 535 electrical workers as independent contractors, which kept them off the payroll and allowed the company to avoid paying some D.C. taxes. The lawsuit also said that those workers didn’t get the required paid sick leave, that at least 180 workers weren’t paid the required overtime rate and that at least 63 weren’t paid minimum wage.


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Re: Wage Theft

#7

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:18 am

Associated Press
US appeals court rules for bartenders, waiters in tip fight

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Restaurants must pay waiters and bartenders minimum wage when they are engaged in tasks such as cleaning toilets that are unrelated to their main jobs and do not offer tips, a divided U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday.

At issue in the decision by an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a federal law that allows an employer to pay workers who receive tips as little as $2.13 an hour as long as their tips earn them minimum wage.

Employers cannot use that tip credit when the workers are engaged in unrelated tasks that don't pay tips, the panel ruled in a 9-2 decision. Employers also can't use the tip credit for tasks related to bartending or serving such as preparing coffee if employees spend a substantial part of the work week on them.

The impact of the ruling appeared limited. Seven states require that employers pay workers the state minimum wage on top of any tips they receive, according to the labor department's wage and hour division. Six of those states fall under the 9th Circuit's jurisdiction: California, Alaska, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Writing for the majority in Tuesday's ruling, Judge Richard Paez said tips were intended as "a gift to the server, as opposed to a cost-saving benefit to the employer."

A broader use of the tip credit would allow employers to underpay bartenders and wait staff and put off hiring staff such as janitors who don't receive tips and therefore must get paid minimum wage by employers, Paez said.

The ruling upheld a regulation by the U.S. Department of Labor and subsequent guidance that limited employers' use of the tip credit. It also revived lawsuits against restaurant chains by 14 bartenders and servers. The defendants include P.F. Chang's China Bistro and J. Alexander's.


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