Do You Need a Lawyer After Experiencing Harassment at Restaurant?
For many years, perhaps no group of employees has worked harder and for less pay than restaurant workers. Whether it is waitresses, cooks, or others, individuals in these positions work long hours and yet barely make ends meet. Unfortunately, many restaurants choose to take advantage of their workers in these situations and ignore numerous laws that have been in place for decades. From laws pertaining to how much workers should be paid to the types of jobs and number of hours minors can work within an establishment, these and other rules and regulations are violated on a daily basis. If you are a restaurant worker who knows your employment rights are being violated, do not sit back and allow your employer to get away with their actions.
Signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act governs standards associated with such areas as minimum wage and overtime pay that employers are required to pay their employees. However, just because these laws are in existence does not mean employers choose to play by the rules. This is especially true when it comes to tips for restaurant workers, which are often a topic of dispute. Since tips are such an essential part of income for restaurant workers, it is crucial any improper conduct by employers be addressed immediately.
Youth and Minor Employment
In many restaurants, younger kids and teenagers use these establishments as places to have their first experience with employment in a real job. While many have pleasant experiences and learn a great deal about what it takes to be successful in a job, others find themselves being taken advantage of by their employers. This can happen in a variety of ways, including hazardous and non-hazardous jobs in which minor workers can perform in a restaurant. For example, while it is illegal for an employee under 18 years of age to perform such tasks as operate meat-processing equipment or slicers and grinders, some employers ignore these laws. If the employee raises concerns or objections, an employer often threatens retaliation or termination of employment. If you have a son or daughter who has been forced to work in unsafe conditions, do not wait until a tragedy occurs. Instead, turn to Mann & Elias, a trusted law firm that will hold employers accountable for their actions.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
Commonly known as OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970 and plays an extremely important role in keeping employees in restaurants safe. Focusing primarily on ensuring workers are not forced to risk their lives performing dangerous tasks during their shift, OSHA regulations apply to both the public and private sector under California law. If you believe your employer violated OSHA regulations and thus placed you in unnecessary peril, consult with a legal professional.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
While the above-mentioned regulatory agencies and laws pertain to many areas of the restaurant industry, the vast majority of complaints from restaurant workers tend to fall under laws associated with harassment and discrimination within the workplace. When these complaints are made, it is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that steps forward to investigate. Responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against employees based on their race, religion, sex, age, and other factors, the EEOC is usually the first step that must be taken when filing a formal complaint against an employer. However, since allegations of discrimination are very serious, they must be backed up by hard evidence for a case to move forward. Should you feel discrimination has been directed at you within your workplace, speak with an employment attorney in Los Angeles with a track record of success in these cases.
Los Angeles Restaurant Worker Rights Lawyer
Should you believe your rights as an employee have been violated, it will be important to meet at once with a lawyer. By doing so, you can learn which laws are enforced by the EEOC and whether or not your particular situation falls under these categories. For example, if you are a pregnant employee and have been let go by your employer or had your hours reduced for no valid reason, it is likely you may have an EEOC complaint. But before moving forward, you must file a complaint with the EEOC to let the agency determine if it believes your rights were indeed violated. However, regardless of this ruling, California law does still allow you to pursue a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination and other related violations. To ensure you receive legal guidance from experienced and knowledgeable professionals, consult with an employee rights attorney.
How Am I Protected from Discrimination in the Workplace?
Since all employers, including restaurants, are required to follow federal EEOC guidelines, they are also bound by various laws that have been passed over the years. Some of the most important include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. These, along with others that pertain to disabilities, age, and other factors, are unfortunately ignored by employers each and every day. As a result, innocent and hard-working employees lose their jobs and livelihoods, creating emotional and financial hardships.
Due to the complexities involved with labor law, always work with legal professionals that specialize in this area. If your rights as an employee have been violated, schedule your consultation today with a lawyer for restaurant labor law violations in Los Angeles from Mann & Elias.