LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer and the City’s Office of Wage Standards announced today that the City has taken action against Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC, demanding the company pay $1.45 million in restitution and penalties for repeatedly failing to pay dozens of workers at multiple Los Angeles locations the City’s minimum wage.
"L.A. law is clear: employees must be paid at least the minimum wage. Anything less is a slap in the face to workers struggling to make ends meet. This is a major corporation that should know the rules," said Feuer. "Our offices will always aggressively stand up for workers to ensure they get the wages they’re owed, and all the protections and benefits the law demands."
"The minimum wage is a legally established threshold below which employers may not venture to pay their workers," said John Reamer, Inspector of Public Works and head of the Bureau of Contract Administration. "The minimum wage was established to ensure economic equity and opportunity, and the Office of Wage Standards will continue to partner with the City Attorney to regulate and enforce compliance with the law."
Following a report from a Carl’s Jr. employee, L.A.’s Office of Wage Standards (OWS) (in the Bureau of Contract Administration) launched an investigation in coordination with the City Attorney’s Office. As a result of the investigation into the company’s financial records, it is alleged that Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC failed to pay 37 employees the Los Angeles minimum wage of $10.50 per hour from July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. In addition, the City cited the company for allegedly failing to post the notice of the current minimum wage rate, sick time benefits and employee rights required under the City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance at two Los Angeles locations.
The City is demanding the company pay $910,010 in penalties to the 37 employees identified by OWS investigators no later than July 24, 2017. (The funds are to be delivered to and distributed by the OWS to impacted employees.) The City is seeking an additional $541,423 in penalties and fines for allegedly: violating the City’s minimum wage law, failing to post the required notice and failing to provide investigators access to interview employees at two locations.
Failure to make payments could result in a civil action. Additionally, a lien could be placed against any property owned or operated by an employer who fails to pay wages, penalties, and administrative fines calculated by the City Attorney’s Office.
Deputy City Attorney Alexander Freedman and Dania Minassian are assigned to the matter.