Unlike other countries, workers in the United States have rights and are protected by state and federal laws. The United States Department of Labor oversees the safety and fair treatment of workers in California and across the country by administering and enforcing labor laws. One of these laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, establishes overtime pay and minimum wage, and sets standards on child labor. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is in charge of the enforcement of the FLSA.
Recently, a restaurant in another state was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor over allegations that the restaurant owners violated the FLSA. Reportedly, the investigation found that the restaurant owners failed to pay overtime to nearly 60 employees going back two years. When employees work more than 40 hours, it is required that they receive time-and-a-half of regular pay, which the restaurant failed to do, investigators said.
Reports submitted by investigators said the affected employees were cooks, servers, food runners and other help. As a result of the investigation, the restaurant was required to pay the affected employees over $50,000 in back pay and other damages. To ensure that employers are in compliance with labor laws, the Wage and Hour Division regularly conducts investigations throughout the country.
In an attempt to save money in today's cut-throat economic climate, it is not uncommon for employers to neglect workers. It is only fair for employees to be paid for the work they provide. Wage and hour laws were enacted to protect workers across the country. Workers in California who feel that their rights have been violated could benefit from discussions with an attorney experienced in employment law.