CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois recently hit an Elk Grove Village hibachi restaurant with a $100,000 consent decree to settle allegations that the defendant conspired with underground employment agencies in Chicago to target Hispanic immigrants to work for illegally low wages at buffet and Chinese restaurants. Additionally, the claims alleged that the defendants placed the vulnerable workers in squalid conditions in overcrowded apartments teeming with rats and bedbugs. Lawsuits against the employment agencies Xing Ying Employment Agency and Chinatown Agencia de Empleo are still ongoing.
The judge’s order resolves labor complaints against three defendants, Hibachi Grill, Royal Cicero Inc., and Jiao’s Employment Agency Inc., and force these companies to amend their allegedly illegal practices including paying back wages, accurately recording work hours, and enhanced training on discrimination laws. The two hibachi restaurants will pay $96,000 between the two of them while the employment agency will pay $16,500 as part of the consent decree.
The lawsuit claimed that one of the defendants acting as an employment agency openly advertised in Chinese-language media outlets as being able to provide competent and cheap labor from Mexican immigrants whom business would hire for less than Illinois minimum wage and no overtime pay. The complaint alleges that some of the workers toiled for over 80 hours a week for anywhere from $3 to $6 an hour. Furthermore, the restaurants would allegedly deduct over $200 from the workers’ first month’s paycheck to pay staffing fees to the employment agencies.
In addition to receiving less than minimum wages and no overtime pay, the workers stayed in crowded slums nearby the restaurants, which the defendants also owned. Some of the units slept five adult men to a room with no beds and only dirty mattresses on the floor which the defendants allegedly pulled from nearby dumpsters. As part of the settlement, the defendants will no longer be allowed to house their own workers and institute oversight procedures to ensure other workers do not suffer from future wage theft.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.
Iowa Ends Overtime Pay for Thousands of State Workers, Recalculates Payments for More
DES MOINES — The Iowa state legislature recently passed a law stripping overtime pay from potentially thousands of state employees and further reassessing the way those payments are calculated for over 12,000 other workers employed by the state. While Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds recently told one publication in the state that the move would have a “relatively small impact,” the truth is that almost 3,000 state workers once eligible for overtime pay will not be forced to work the same, if not longer, hours and potentially earn less income than they should.
According to reports, an estimated 167 occupations will see classification changes that will mean certain state employees will spend more than 40 hours on the job but not be eligible for one and a half times their average hourly wages like most private sector workers are in the country. Some of those occupations include workers already dealing with long, difficult schedules, demanding duties, and less than stellar pay like nurses, public defenders, and social workers.
Additionally, about 12,800 will have recalculations made to their overtime pay. Workers will no longer be able to factor in comp time hours into the 40-hour overtime threshold for the work week. Comp time is a special type of paid time off only state employees are eligible for and is accrued in place of overtime pay. Previously, workers could theoretically work 40 hours over a four-day period and then use their comp time for the hours of their fifth day of the work week to put them over the time and a half threshold and receive premium overtime pay.
The move is expected to save the state government approximately $5 million per year but could have a greater human cost on workers and citizens relying on state workers to help them cope with hardships. For example, Iowa has reportedly had difficulty fulfilling nursing positions for state institutions due to competition from private sector hospitals and health care institutions who offer more competitive pay and benefits.
Overtime Pay Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights