California’s Department of Industrial Relations has just dropped the hammer on Cheesecake Factory. The state agency is enforcing a recent law that holds businesses jointly liable for workplace violations experienced by contracted and subcontracted workers such as unpaid wages. The famed chain restaurant had used a cleaning services contractor that subcontracted out the work for overnight janitorial staff but an investigation launched by the state agency found that those workers were not paid properly as well as not allowed the appropriate break times.
The sub contracted cleaning staff, which worked at eight different Cheesecake Factory restaurants throughout California, worked 12 hour overnight shifts starting at midnight. They were noted as not being allowed to leave their shifts until kitchen managers were able to conduct walk-throughs of the space to review their work which often resulted in additional tasks that were completed off the clock. Additionally, they were not given the proper rest or meal breaks.
Due to the additional off-the-clock work, over 550 employees were losing out on up to 10 unpaid overtime hours each week. With damages and interest, the state’s Department of Industrial Relations found the subcontracted company responsible for paying its workers $4.57 million. However, due to the new law, if the subcontracted company does not pay, Cheesecake Factory as well as the contracted cleaning company is liable to pay for the wage violations.
Unfortunately, workers of subcontracted services often experience similar violations especially those working in the janitorial industry with long overnight hours in isolated settings. If you or anyone you know has experienced these potential violations, please have them call an employment attorney at (212) 300 – 0375 for a free phone consultation. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP has consistently been able to recover owed wages for hard working employees. Please visit our website for additional information.