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Hollywood Actors Sued by Restaurant Employees for Wage and Hour Violations

September 22, 2011

According to a recent Los Angeles, California wage and hour news report that our Santa Ana employment attorneys have been following, the celebrity investors of Shin BBQ restaurant, Hollywood star Gerard Butler, from "300," and television stars Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson, and Chris Masterson, are being sued by two former employees for wage and hour violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, (FLSA).

According to the lawsuit, filed last month in Los Angeles Superior Court, the celebrities are being sued along with owner Simon Shin, DJ Mark Ronson and music producer Steve Aoki, for neglecting to pay minimum wage and overtime compensation, failure to provide proper rest and meal break periods, and for unfair competition.

The former employees, Gilberto Hernandez and Eder Martinez, a cook and dishwasher, claim that they routinely worked over eight hours per day, and more than forty hours in a workweek, but never received any overtime payment. They also claim that they were unable to take their legally entitled 10-minute rest breaks in the mornings and afternoons, and they were not allowed to take meals breaks every five hours. The former employees also claim that Shin BBQ did not pay minimum wage for shifts that were split.

The California wage and hour lawsuit claims that Hernandez is owed back pay that amounts to over $28,000, and Martinez is owed around $5,800 in back pay. The former employees are asking to be compensated for the income that they are owed, plus punitive damages for the alleged unlawful behavior.

According to a recent study performed by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Los Angeles (ROC-LA), 82% of restaurant workers in Los Angeles earn less than a living wage. The study also found that they infrequently have access to health insurance, paid sick days or opportunities to advance within the workplace.

As our Riverside employment lawyers blog recently discussed, according to a low-wage study performed by UCLA in 2008, almost 30% of Los Angeles workers were paid less than the federal minimum wage, and around 80% of these workers did not receive the right to overtime compensation. California workers are also entitled to receive clear pay records and almost 64% of workers did not receive this. The study also found that only $4.3% of low-wage workers who sustained injuries in the workplace filed a workman's compensation claim to pay for the medical care.

If you are an employee in Orange County, California who has experienced violations of state or federal overtime pay provisions and you are seeking recovery, contact our dedicated team of attorneys and professionals at Howard Law, PC, so we can help formulate the best remedy or solution to your wage and hour issues.

Gerard Butler among celebs sued in restaurant labor dispute, Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2011

New study expected to paint bleak picture of how L.A. restaurant workers are treated, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2011

Gerard Butler, Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson Sued Over Shin BBQ, The Wrap, August 16, 2011

Related Web Resources:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011

Employee Misclassification Leads to Nearly $1M in Back Pay for 30 Restaurant Workers, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 24, 2011

Another DOL Investigation Brings Restaurant Employees $275K in Overtime Back Wages , California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 18, 2011

CA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Settlement--66 Japanese Employees to Receive $145K in Overtime Back Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 22, 2011

Taqueria Restaurant to Pay Workers Nearly $250K in Overtime Back Pay and Minimum Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 15, 2011

Feds Crack Down on Wage and Hour Violations in NY Restaurants, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 15, 2011

Mexican Restaurants To Pay Over $1M in Back Wages and Overtime, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 1, 2011

DOL Wage and Hour Division Audits for Low Wage Industry Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 20, 2010

New Study Reveals More Abuse of Low-wage Workers in Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 11, 2010

Financial Discrimination for Low-wage Workers in Los Angeles, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2009