In California, the food service industry is a prominent source of employment. While there is a perception that people who are trying to make it in entertainment are the main employees at restaurants, cafes and similar establishments, many people strive to become chefs and work fulltime in food service. Getting a job at a well-known restaurant can seem like a stepping stone to significant professional advancement. Unfortunately, it is also rife with abuse and mistreatment. This goes beyond wait staff and extends to the kitchen and in management. If legal violations have taken place, those who have been victimized should have a firm grasp of their rights.
Former cook at famous restaurant says he faced various workplace violations
A man who worked at the well-known eatery Spago claims he was retaliated against, was not paid overtime, was subjected to a hostile work environment and was wrongfully terminated. He has filed a lawsuit about his allegations. He says he began working at the restaurant in 2013 and was a line cook. According to his filing, his work record was good. Still, he was dismissed after he asked for leave following his daughter’s birth and when he lodged complaints about violations in the workplace.
The man is from Guatemala and he says that a person in management made negative comments about it. A second made abusive comments and touched him inappropriately. Regarding his work hours, he asserts that he was never paid overtime despite working more than a normal 40-hour workweek and eight hours per day. Workers are required to receive a half-hour meal break for every five hours they work and he was not given that time, nor did he have rest breaks. He took family leave in June 2019 after his daughter was born. When he returned, the harassment worsened until he was fired two months later.
Mistreated workers must remember that they have options
Recently, a significant amount of attention has been paid to employment law, worker rights and protecting them. Despite that, these incidents still happen with a troubling frequency. The restaurant industry is rife with these allegations, but it can happen in any workplace and to any worker regardless of their status, salary and position. It is imperative to know how to proceed when these behaviors are taking place. Having guidance from the outset can be useful in understanding the available alternatives and in moving forward with a claim.