Wage and Hour

Brickhouse Cafe Sued for Alleged Wage and Hour Violations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A former cook of the SOMA eatery is alleging he was paid in cash and his hourly rate trailed minimum wage in San Francisco. He further claims defendants failed to pay overtime, provide meal and rest periods and compensate for sick time, among other Labor Code violations.

Whether true or not in this case, there are employers who think it is a good idea to pay in cash. It is not. Checks provide a much better record of what was paid. Employers paying in cash almost never provide a wage statement, which the Labor Code requires. And, it looks bad, since it suggests, rightly or wrongly, an attempt to unlawfully employ an illegal immigrant and/or to evade taxes.

The case raises another interesting issue in employment law: who can be held liable for wage and hour violations. In this case, an LLC with the restaurant’s name was sued as well as an individual.

In general, California law does not impose personal liability on corporate officers or directors for wages owed by a corporate employer. Individuals are not totally off the hook, however. The Labor Code authorizes civil penalties against any employer or other person acting on behalf of an employer who causes overtime pay violations or fails to pay minimum wages. In addition, the federal FLSA expressly imposes wage claim liability on “any person” acting on behalf of the employer, including its officers and directors. Where corporate formalities are not followed, plaintiffs can pursue an alter ego theory.

This blog reports on cases filed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The statements made are  based on the allegations in court-filed documents. Allegations are just accusations, and may or may not be true.
The authors of the blog are attorneys at the San Francisco litigation firm,Wood Robbins, LLP. If you have a legal issue, send them an email. If they cannot help you, they will try and point you in the right direction.
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Wage and Hour

Two San Francisco Restaurants Alleged to Manipulate Time Cards

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Two restaurants got hit this past week with claims that they manipulated time cards. Complaints were filed against Burritt Room and Tavern (in the Mystic Hotel near the Stockton St. Tunnel), and against North Beach Restaurant.

In the case against Burritt Room and Tavern, three plaintiffs allege management tampered with time cards to make it look like they had taken rest and meal breaks. The changes, plaintiffs’ say, “shaved” the hours they worked.

In the case against North Beach Restaurant, a waiter alleges management used point-of-sale software to record when workers started and ended their shift but would change the time stamps.

In wage and hour cases, often the biggest exposure stems from the plaintiff’s ability to recover attorney’s fees. So even if a waiter’s meal periods and/or overtime does not add up to much, the total owed if the case went to trial could easily be six figures. Defense counsel in both cases will want to have a very quick and honest discussion with management to find out why plaintiffs are saying what they are saying. Counsel will want to assess what evidence is out there for and against. Because attorney’s fees are recoverable in these cases, if the claims are at all true, early settlement makes sense.

This blog reports on cases filed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The statements made are  based on the allegations in court-filed documents. Allegations are just accusations, and may or may not be true.
The authors of the blog are attorneys at the San Francisco litigation firm,Wood Robbins, LLP. If you have a legal issue, send them an email. If they cannot help you, they will try and point you in the right direction.