While fast food restaurants may be known for their greasy, cheap food, among labor regulators, these establishments are also notorious for violating wage and hour laws. In fact, according to officials at the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), within the past two years alone, WHD authorities have collected more than $6.7 million in back wages for close to 18,000 fast food workers across the U.S.
Continuing these efforts, WHD officials are now conducting an investigation into the pay practices at fast food establishments throughout California (as well as in Oregon and Washington). According to authorities, the specific focus of this investigation is to evaluate fast food employers’ compliance with wage regulations, as well as other labor statutes.
As part of this probe, authorities will reportedly be:
- Reviewing employers’ wage records, as well as their recordkeeping methods
- Conducting various meetings with “local industry stakeholders”
- Training fast food franchise owners on compliance issues
- Meeting directly with various franchise owners.
Top Labor Violations Linked to Fast Food Industry
As labor leaders and advocates eagerly await the findings of this DOL investigation, some suspect that some combination of the following violations will be discovered, as they are the most prominent ones that have historically plagued the fast food industry:
- Wrongly classifying delivery drivers as independent contractors
- Violating child labor laws
- Failing to pay minimum wage and/or overtime pay
- Failing to pay workers for all hours worked and/or taking illegal deductions from workers’ pay.
“The men and women cooking and serving our burgers and fries are some of the hardest working people in our communities, often juggling long shifts and multiple jobs for comparatively low wages. We want to make sure they’re being paid every penny they rightfully earn,” Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Ruben Rosalez has explained in relation to this investigation.
Highlighting the importance of the WHD’s proactive work to investigate potential violations of workers’ rights, Rosalez went on to note that, “Unfortunately, we still find business owners willing to cut corners at workers’ expense. This initiative will ensure that these workers are paid their hard-earned wages. It will also help to level the playing field so that the many upstanding restaurant owners who play by the rules do not find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to those who do not.”
Contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Urbanic & Associates
Have you been the target of any type of wage violation? Or have you been victimized by workplace discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation? If so, you can turn to a trusted Los Angeles employment attorney at Urbanic & Associates for help defending your rights and pursuing justice. Since 2000, our lawyers have been dedicated, aggressive advocates for our clients, helping them stand up to even the most formidable opponents in any legal setting.
To discuss your rights and potential case – and to find out more about your best options for justice, call (310) 216-0900 or send our firm an email using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Los Angeles, Attorney James Urbanic provides superior representation to clients throughout Los Angeles County and southern California, including (but not limited to) those in Glendale, Burbank, Alhambra, Van Nuys, Santa Monica and Orange County.