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Applebees Sued for Allegedly Failing to Provide Workers with Breaks

Workers in California who believe their employers may be cheating them out of wages have the option to report the alleged violations to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, which can then decide whether or not to investigate the allegations. If the Agency decides not to investigate, the employee still has the option to file a lawsuit on her own.

That’s the path Taelyn L. is taking. She says she worked at an Applebee’s restaurant run by Apple American Group LLC, which is the largest franchisee of Applebee’s. It has about 480 restaurants in 23 different states and employs over 31,000 people. The company was started in 1998 and it’s sales have continued to grow every year since. Last year they reported annual sales of $1.2 billion.

Businesses that hire employees in different states across the country need to be aware of the different labor laws in each state, as well as the federal labor laws. California labor law, for example, requires employers to provide all their hourly workers with a paid rest break lasting at least ten minutes for every four hours worked. For every five hours of work, employees are entitled to an unpaid, uninterrupted meal break of at least half an hour. For every day one of these breaks is not taken, the employee is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages and bonuses earned that day.

Because Taelyn was working for Apple American Group in California, she was entitled to these breaks, but she alleges she and her co-workers were not permitted to take them. Apple American Group allegedly sometimes required its workers to waive their breaks at the beginning of their shifts and allegedly failed to compensate them for the missed breaks as required by law. Taelyn further alleges she and her coworkers were not permitted to leave the premises during break times.

Taelyn further alleges her employer failed to provide them with accurate itemized wage statements. Employers are required by law to provide workers with accurate wage statements that detail the employee’s hourly wage, the number of hours worked, the total wages paid, and any deductions, such as taxes and health insurance.

Taelyn alleges she complained about these violations directly to Apple American Group as well as the California Labor Workforce Development Agency. Neither has done anything to change the situation so Taelyn has decided to take matters into her own hands and file a wage and hour class action lawsuit against her former employer.

Taelyn is filing the lawsuit on behalf of herself, as well as all other similarly situated current and former employees of Apple American Group. Her proposed class will consist of all nonexempt employees who worked for Apple American Group any time within one year before the date on which Taelyn first reported her complaints to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

The class action wage and hour lawsuit is seeking up to three years of back wages plus civil penalties of $50 for the first violation of California employment laws and $100 for each successive violation.

The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Applebees, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Bollingbrook and Joliet. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Maywood and Berwyn overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.