High-Profile Mexican Restaurants Accused of Labor Violations

High-Profile Bay Mexican Restaurants Accused of Labor Violations

OAKLAND — Calavera, an upscale Mexican restaurant, became the latest eatery in Oakland to become embroiled in an overtime wage lawsuit with some of its former workers.

The restaurant opened last August and is already in hot water as it battles, not only a civil lawsuit, but the pressure of activists groups fighting what seems to be a disturbing trend of wage theft amongst restaurants in the Bay Area.

The overtime wage lawsuit was filed by three former employees claiming various state labor violations.

Plaintiffs allege they were forced to work off the clock and were not provided legally mandated meal and rest periods. The complaint alleges Calavera willingly:

  • Failed to pay minimum wage
  • Failed to pay overtime wages
  • Failed to provide rest periods or compensation in lieu
  • Failed to provide uninterrupted meal breaks
  • Failed to furnish employees with itemized wage statements
  • Refused to pay wages owed upon termination

The plaintiffs seek class action status in the case on behalf of themselves and any other employees who may have been harmed by Calavera’s improper practices. Should the class action status be approved, other potential claimants would automatically be opted into the class and would not need to file individual lawsuits by themselves.

Coqueta, Farina Also Face Unpaid Wage Lawsuits

Just a few weeks prior to the suit against Calavera, celebrity chef Michael Chiarello and his restaurant Coqueta were also slapped with an unpaid wage lawsuit by former waitresses who alleged their employer failed to pay wages, overtime, and provide meals and breaks. The claim also levies sexual harassment charges and hiring discrimination against Coqueta.

Earlier this year, Italian restaurant Farina was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back tips and overtime pay. According to reports, employees who worked at the Bay Area restaurant could receive anywhere from $860 to $22,000 in wages and restitution. A sister company also found itself hit with a $63,000 unpaid wage lawsuit.

Fair Labor Standards Act Lawsuits

In addition to state laws like those under which these overtime wage lawsuits were brought in California, federal law also holds employers accountable who fail to pay their employees minimum wage and overtime. Depending on the circumstances of their case, employees may be able to file suit under either federal or state overtime laws.

You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees have a valid claim under FLSA and believe that your wage rights are being violated. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.

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