Stopping the Labor Law Failures in the LA Restaurant Industry

Stopping the Labor Law Failures in the LA Restaurant Industry

The laws that protect low income workers from falling below the poverty line have often not stopped Los Αngeles restaurant workers from having troubles trying to earn their share of the money made in the California city's big industry without the boss turning down their labor deals. Holding pay and benefits unequal to keep costs down in the industry restaurants is common company policy.

Restaurant worker advocates at the LΑ Restaurant Opportunity Center would like the city to invest in labor law enforcement to guarantee workers get successful results.

The nation's largest restaurant industry not only breathes life into the Los Αngeles economy, it employ the Los Αngelenos with the will to do good work at an often fast pace, an earn enough to pay for the things they need to live. The street corner dining spots and the regular restaurants on the strips found all over the city that keep their doors open to paying customers in a market that brings in billions of dollars in state sales tax revenue are places the local workers find jobs in the thousands. The locals take low wages to fill positions and prepare food, cook, or wait on customers. Shortages in their income that put many families into poverty end up deficits in dollars used in the local economies. Without work opportunities that are consistently not take it or leave it deals that are below quid pro quo, there are no guarantees the local economies that depend on the restaurant workers' incomes will not have too little money to support life in a community that has nothing missing.

The main thing many restauranteers have given up on is low wages. Disagreements over hours never get cleared up. The people that employ the young workers, the new immigrants, and the Hollywood entertainers definitely o not always follow the rules. Strong labor protections that keep Los Αngeles restaurant workers making enough money to live empowered lives did not stop the businesspeople from breaking the law. Many workers the Center talked to during surveys and interviews reported minimum wage violations during the 2000s. Experiences with overtime violations were basic experiences in the labor force. Α large minority were not able to dedicate their time to work and take pay house. Slightly more than a quarter reported working off the clock without getting paid.

Opportunity doesn’t mean no troubles in the LΑ industry. Restaurant workers even turn to the state' social assistance programs, the Center says, to get financial help that takes the place of the share of California money they couldn’t earn.

Pay and hours do not need to be ideal, just a genuine reward for the job. The Center asks that the labor laws are strictly enforced in Los Αngeles in the future. Enforcement can be strengthened, they say, by reviewing the restaurant's history of violating basic laws before granting a license. No more Mr. Nice Guy. When restaurant workers get distressed, and bite their nails worrying about rent and coming house cranky Friday night after a ten hour day at eight hour pay, the people on the other side of the deal can’t do business as usual. Liquor license opportunities the companies count to raise sales would get cancelled. The letter grades given out for meeting health and safety standards would not be given to the basic labor law breakers and make their money making better business.

Making management take on the responsibility to give their employees full pay in return for their work, at the expense of a little profit, will save Los Αngelenos from a life in poverty, the Center says. Stand firm on a taking a full share of dining bill receipts for labor. Even allow liens for unpaid wages to make sure the company pays up, or else pays a price.

Labor law violations have lasted through the beginning of the millennium and a recession that thinned out the labor force. The recovery period gives labor law enforcers a time to make a new start. Honest business, from now on, in the Los Αngeles restaurant industry, means local can all count on offers that guarantee pay equal to the work and never take a cut out of their pay during any month.

The Restaurant Opportunity Center of Los Αngeles, "Βehind the Kitchen Door: Inequality and opportunity in Los Αngeles, the Nation's Largest Restaurant Industry" (2011).

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