A Trio of California Restaurant Workers Receive $120K in Back Wages, Penalties, and Compensation for Rest and Meal Breaks Their Employer Illegally Denied Them California is home to roughly 1.1 million undocumented workers. More than half of those 1.1 million work in a small cluster of industries, of which restaurant employment is one. Although the law gives these workers (like all workers) certain rights, they remain vulnerable in many ways, including threats of deportation if they try to stand up for those rights. Others workers often face similar problems, only with something other than deportation representing the "stick" at the end of the threat. Whether you're a citizen, a documented non-citizen worker, or an undocumented worker, don't let anyone intimidate you from standing up for your rights. Instead, reach out to a California unpaid overtime lawyer who can help you protect yourself and your family. Once you initiate a lawsuit for wage-and-hour violations, the recovery available may come via various categories of damages and the total sum can be substantial. As an example, there's this recent wage and hour case from Southern California. The three employees served as kitchen workers and dishwashers in the defendant's restaurant. Allegedly, the employer paid them only a flat weekly rate, regardless of the number of hours they worked, even though none qualified as exempt workers. On top of that, the employer did not provide them with meal breaks, even though it typically scheduled them to work 11-hour shifts, according to the complaint. The evidence in the case showed that, for each employee, their pay periods generally were either 14, 15, or 16 days long, and each worker received nearly the same amount of pay each time. The employer's recordkeeping allegedly violated several laws, such as California's requirement that employers keep timecards that accurately reflect the number of hours employees worked. When you go to court and establish that your employer maintained inadequate time and pay records, that works to your advantage, as it allows the court to construe that absence in your favor and against your employer.