Los Angeles Restaurant Worker Rights Lawyer - Know Your Rights
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Restaurant Worker Rights Attorney Los Angeles


For people from all walks of life, the restaurant industry offers excellent employment opportunities. It allows employees to interact with customers, learn about the service, and earn a substantial living. While this industry can sometimes be demanding and challenging, it should never be inhumane.


As a worker in California, your rights are protected and enforced by the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

This division is responsible for investigating and resolving labor code violations and issues about discrimination, wages, hours, working conditions, and more. State laws protect you whether you’re documented or undocumented. Here are a few of the rights promised to you:

  • Minimum Wage – Restaurant workers are to get paid no less than the legal minimum wage, whether measured by time, commission, piece rate, or some other calculation method. With some minor exceptions, all wages earned are due at a minimum of twice each calendar month.
  • Rest Period – Restaurant workers are permitted a 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked. If you do not receive a rest period, your employer is required to pay an additional hour of pay at your regular rate.
  • Meal Period – If you work more than five hours, you are entitled to a 30-minute meal period in which you shall be relieved of all work duties and obligations. If you do not receive a meal period, your employer must pay an additional hour of pay at your regular rate.
  • Workers’ Comp – If you are hurt or injured on the job, your employer is required to provide you with appropriate medical care.
  • Proper Tools and Supplies – The restaurant should provide uniforms, supplies, and tools necessary to complete your job duties. If you use your vehicle for work responsibilities, your employer must reimburse all related expenses.
  • More – As a restaurant worker in California, you have dozens of other rights and freedoms, such as tips and more. For more information on your rights as an employee, contact an employment lawyer in Los Angeles.


Most restaurant workers face legal concerns regarding wage and hour laws. Both laws establish the standards for:

  • Minimum wages
  • Tips
  • Regulations concerning overtime
  • Rest breaks

They set out clear rules and guidelines for employers and employees so that each party understands their duties and obligations.

The Federal Department of Labor sets the base rate wage at $7.25 per hour, although each state has its minimum wage laws. In California, as of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees is $13.00 per hour; for employers with 26 or more employees, the minimum wage is $14.00 per hour.

We recognize that the restaurant business can be unpredictable and demanding. For the long hours worked, you should get compensated every step of the way, whether regular work hours or overtime. There are a few different circumstances for overtime pay:

  • If you work more than 12 hours a day, your employer must give you double the pay.
  • If you work seven days during the week, the employer must (on the seventh day) pay you time and a half for the first eight hours and double time for each additional hour worked.

CIVIL CODE 1668 AND 3513

The following civil codes support your rights to get paid above minimum wage:
Civil Code 1668 – “All contracts which have for their object, directly or indirectly, to exempt anyone from responsibility for his own fraud, or willful injury to the person or property of another, or violation of law, whether willful or negligent, are against the policy of the law.”

Civil Code 3513 – “Anyone may waive the advantage of a law intended solely for his benefit. But a law established for a public reason cannot be contravened by a private agreement.”

Suppose you are not getting paid minimum wage. In that case, you can file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner’s Office) or directly sue an employer for violating the law.


When it comes to bringing a claim against your employer, you must be able to demonstrate that they violated a labor code and it impacted any aspect of your employment. Often restaurant workers are not treated fairly and have little choice but to do whatever gets asked of them and hope for the best.

Our team has composed a list of the 10 Common Labor Code Violations Committed by restaurant employers. If you have experienced these labor code violations, contact a Los Angeles workers’ rights lawyer today for a free consultation.


At-will employment in California means an employer can fire an employee at any time. Similarly, an employee can leave without reason. Exceptions to “at-will” employment include:

Implied Contract Exception – although it may not be in writing, it can still be considered legally binding. For instance, when employers verbally confirm an employee will have a job for the foreseeable future, but they suddenly get fired.

Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing – if your politics do not align with your employer’s and they fire you or engage in retaliation as a result.

Public Policy Exception – when an employee gets fired for refusing to break the law, violate public policy, or report unlawful acts within the company.

Fraud and Misrepresentation – if an employer makes fraudulent claims to persuade you to accept a job offer and fails to act on the promises made.


At The Law Offices of Mann & Elias, we invest our time into each case to ensure our clients are protected. When you work in a faced-paced industry, it’s easier for a supervisor to take advantage of your employment. You deserve proper representation who will do everything to safeguard your rights.


Since 1998, The Law Offices of Mann & Elias have helped individuals just like you receive the benefits they deserve. We represent clients at every state and federal court system level in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties.

We know how to handle these cases best and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com to schedule your first consultation.


Since Scott Mann and Imad Elias have founded the employment law firm, they have successfully recovered hundreds of claims resulting in over $18 million in settlements and verdicts. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, our success is rooted in:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Contact us today if you intend to file a claim against your employer. We charge no fee for the initial consultation, and all cases get handled on a contingency basis.


You have questions – we’ve got answers! Need more legal help? Check out a few of our legal articles below.

Is It Legal for Employers to Deduct Credit Card Processing Fees From Tips?
Many service employees rely on receiving tips from customers on a day-to-day basis to make ends meet. However, credit card tips pose a financial threat or burden for restaurant owners. Processing fees may cut their profits in half. To offset the expenses, an owner may pull money from service tips paid by a credit card. In California, it is illegal for employers to deduct fees from tips that resulted from your hard work.

California Laws for Tipped Employees
If you work in the restaurant business, tips determine how much you take home each week. Therefore, you should be well aware of your rights as an employee. When it comes to calculating tips, there are specific laws in place to protect you. In California Laws for Tipped Employees, you will find more information that will bring you clarity. State laws vary, and not all are the same for tipped employees.

Restaurant Labor Laws
Most restaurant workers work harder and for less pay than other employees in the industry. Rules and regulations are violated daily in this field of work–whether it is how much workers should get paid or the number of hours minors can work within an establishment–these are factors that should never be overlooked and violated. If you are a restaurant worker, it is essential to know your rights. In Restaurant Labor Laws, we have composed a list of how you are protected.

Considerations For Restaurants and Bars: Covid-19
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc on American life, especially the hospitality industry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided guidelines for safer working conditions and dining conditions to protect staff and customers. This article offers considerations for restaurants and bars in California, as we all adapt during a time of uncertainty to lower the risk of spreading the virus.


What are the top five employment law violations?

  • Withholding pay
  • Paying less than minimum wage
  • Not paying wages at least 2x per month
  • No meal or rest breaks
  • Failing to keep pay stubs

What are the labor laws for working an 8-hour shift?

  • You can work an 8-hour shift straight without taking a break, but your employer is legally required to provide the option to you.
  • California requires 30-minute breaks every five hours for employees working six hours or less.
  • The time limit of the meal break increases the more hours you take on throughout the day.
  • Anything between 10 and 20 minutes is considered a short break.
  • It is up to the employer whether they choose to compensate you for the mealtime.

Are you entitled to get paid for on-call time? 

Yes! If you show up to work during the on-call time slot, your employer is required to pay you for this time, as you are physically waiting and prepare to begin work. Employees who do not stay at work while on call vary, as they are not physically on the job.

What are the hour requirements for minors between 14 and 15?
Employees aged 14 and 15 can work a non-hazardous job no more than:

  • 3 hours on a school day
  • 18 hours in a school week
  • 8 hours on a day off from school
  • 40 hours in a non-school week

They cannot start before 7 a.m. or end after 7 p.m.

What are the hour requirements for minors between 16 and 17?
If the job is non-hazardous, they can work for unlimited hours within restaurants.


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