Workers who contended that a Burger King franchising group committed wage theft succeeded in garnering a decision that demands the company pay some $2.2 million in back wages, penalties, and interest, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
“I am happy that justice is being served,” said Daniel Marini, who previously worked at one of the relevant Burger Kings, in a release.
The Golden Gate Restaurant Group was ordered to make the payments by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
“I hope this sends a message to other workers: don’t be afraid, if something is wrong and you’re being exploited, you can stand up, speak out, and win,” Marini added.
The $2.2 million has a few components: Over $724,000 is unpaid wages and the interest accrued, $1.2 million is penalties, and $371,000 is interest, per a release from Legal Aid at Work. It divides to over $9,500 a worker, per the Chronicle.
Golden Gate Restaurant Group reportedly operated six franchises of Burger King franchises in San Francisco at its peak. All of them have closed or been sold in the last two years according to SFist.
The group of workers, 230 in total, say that they did not make minimum wage or get legally required breaks and overtime pay from 2016 to 2019. They worked with Trabajadores Unidos Workers United as well as Legal Aid at Work on the complaint, per SFist. The organizations helped file the initial complaints, according to the Labor Commissioner’s office decision.
“Even though they worked long overtime hours, they were told to clock in and out according to their posted schedules, and were underpaid as a result,” Legal Aid’s statement added. The decision on the issue comes from a hearing related to the incidents in June.
The state investigated and found that the Golden Gate owners, Monu Singh and Harkiran Randhawa, faked timecards to make it look like workers took breaks.
In 2019, the labor commission issued a $1.9 million citation against the duo for wage theft but they appealed, and this most recent citation was the result.
Colin Calvert, a lawyer for the pair, told the Chronicle the investigation was “poorly executed.”
The pair plans to appeal again, per the Chronicle.