CAUTIONARY TALES EPISODE 22 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles



Three Southern California Outlets and Owners Must Pay Workers Over $1,000,000 for Wage Theft

On October 3, 2018, the Labor Commissioner’s Office announced that it has cited Sanamluang Café in North Hollywood, Orchid Thai Cuisine in Arcadia, and Orchid Thai in Baldwin Park, a total of $1,065,646 for wage theft violations.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office launched an investigation into the restaurants after receiving complaints of underpayment from non-profit organizations representing the restaurant workers. Investigators found that the restaurants paid the workers a flat fee of $45-50 for 10-11.5 hour shifts with no meal and rest breaks. These average $5/hour payments were well below minimum wage. The owners also failed to pay overtime wages, split shift premiums, and meal and rest period premiums.

“These conditions – long hours with no breaks and subminimum wages – are classic examples of wage theft,” Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su said, “and employers who make their profit by breaking the law will be held accountable.”

The Commissioner’s Office cited Snamluang Thaifood, Inc. and its owners $708,457 for wage violations against nine workers, and $125,250 in civil penalties imposed because this company continued ignoring wage minimums even after meeting with the investigators.

Orchid Thai Cuisine in Arcadia and its owners were cited $307,133 for wages owed to 11 workers and $100,750 in civil penalties.  Orchid Thai in Baldwin Park and those same owners must pay $50,056 to two workers and $35,800 in civil penalties.

Labor Code section 558.1 makes owners, directors, officers, and managing agents of California employers liable for violations of minimum wage and hours and days of work. Because the cited companies and their owners are all liable for all of the amounts cited, both their personal and company assets can be levied if they do not pay these citations. Those who own and run companies should make certain they are paying employees correctly to avoid such liability.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

November 9, 2018