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Former restaurant staff claims violation of employee rights

Bar Rouse, a restaurant in downtown Sacramento, closed its doors on Sept. 20. Former employees of this California eatery say this happened after the owner received an eviction notice for violating the lease terms. Several former staff members now claim their employee rights were violated because they did not receive their wages for the period Sept. 1 through 20.

The former front of house manager says the staff was informed of the closure on Sept. 19, and the owner asked her to calculate the outstanding wages for the employees. She says the total amount owed came to approximately $20,000. She also says she asked the payroll office to cut the checks, but the owner allegedly failed to sign them. He then claimed he signed the checks and personally sent each one.

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, failing to pay employees the wages due to them is a labor law violation. Affected workers can report such violations to the Labor Commissioner's Office. A spokesperson for the department says all outstanding wages must be paid immediately upon termination of employment. A business owner who fails to do this will also be ordered to pay penalties for the days the employees had to wait for unpaid wages.

California employees who find themselves in similar circumstances can discuss their predicaments with an attorney who is experienced in fighting for workers whose employee rights were violated. A lawyer can assess the circumstances and explain the available options for legal recourse. If there is a viable claim, he or she can help with the navigation of a civil lawsuit in pursuit of fair compensation.

Source:, "Former Employees Say They Weren't Paid for Last Weeks of Work Before Bar Rouse Shut Down", Sara Zendehnam, Nov. 9, 2017

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