With the recent recession, it has become increasingly common for companies to refuse to pay their employees the proper wages, including the premium overtime rate of one and one-half times their normal hourly wages. Many workers simply are not familiar with the law, so they don’t know their employers are using illegal practices to cut corners. Even employees who do know the law have been afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.
The situation has been made worse by the recent recession. Even after the economy’s recovery, times remain tough for a lot of people and no one wants to get fired. Some employers take advantage of this by threatening their workers with unemployment in order to get them to cooperate with unfairly low wages and poor working conditions. Fortunately, workers are not the only ones who are able to file a wage and hour lawsuit.
Recently, the Los Angeles City Attorney has filed a lawsuit against Makone Development and five subcontractors for allegedly violating wage and overtime laws. Included in the allegations are that one subcontractor, Pak’s Cabinet, was required to pay workers a prevailing wage rate of $49 per hour. Instead, the subcontractor allegedly only paid workers $8 per hour. Another subcontractor, KCC General Construction, was required to pay its workers the prevailing wage rate of $45 per hour, but allegedly paid them a lump sum that amounted to no more than $5 an hour.
A wage rate of $5 an hour is below the federal minimum wage, as dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires employers to pay their workers no less than $7.25 per hour. California labor law provides a minimum wage of $9 per hour, which also puts the rate at which Pak’s Cabinet allegedly paid its employees at an illegally low rate for employers conducting business in the state of California.
As could be expected, the alleged impact these allegedly prohibitively low rates had on the subcontractors’ workers was significant. According to the lawsuit, “not only were they and their families severely damaged financially, but many were subject to overt harassment and intimidation as part of the Defendants’ efforts to conceal their illegal schemes.” All of the defendants deny the claims.
Such is the alleged state of affairs when employers allegedly choose to cut costs by cutting their workers’ wages. Instead of attracting new employees with higher wage rates and fair working conditions, they allegedly resort to threatening their current workers with unemployment in order to force them to put up with wages that are so low as to be against the relevant labor law. The defendants could have saved themselves a lot of time and money by simply abiding by the law in the first place if the allegations are in fact true. All of the defendants deny the claims.
The alleged violations were related to the construction of the South Los Angeles Animal Care Center Facility. The lawsuit alleges that, with the combination of Makone Development and all five subcontractors, employees were denied hundreds of thousands of dollars in straight wages and overtime wages. The wage and hour lawsuit is seeking restitution of unpaid wages to all employees, in addition to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per 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, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for misclassifying 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 Schaumburg and Des Plaines. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Aurora, Elgin and Naperville 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 misclassify 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 not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.