Sacramento employer ordered not to retaliate against workers

Company failed to pay proper overtime, kept part of workers' tips

Sacramento employer ordered not to retaliate against workers

A federal judge has told owners and managers of Taqueria Garibaldi restaurants in Sacramento not to retaliate against employees who are cooperating in labor investigations against the employer.

This was after an Aug. 4 stipulation claimed that the Che Garibaldi company, restaurant owners Eduardo Hernandez and Hector Manual Martinez Galindo and restaurant manager Alejandro Rodriguez deprived workers of earned wages, reported The Sacramento Bee.

Read more: 5 pieces of HR advice you should now ignore

The complaint alleges they failed to pay proper overtime, kept part of workers’ tips and pressured employees not to cooperate with federal investigators.

The Department of Labor notified Taqueria Garibaldi restaurant owners that it had evidence of overtime and record-keeping violations. After that, however, one of the chain’s owners showed up at the Howe Avenue restaurant with a priest, reported The Sacramento Bee.

Hernandez and the priest asked workers if they wanted to take time out of their day to take confession, but the priest asked if shift leader Maria Parra drank alcohol, had ever stolen anything at work, arrived late to work or if she did anything to harm her employer, according to the report, citing Parra’s account in court documents.

Parra was allegedly fired three months later. This was a retaliation for her cooperating with the investigation and as intimidation of other employees, federal officials claimed.

According to the court, the defendants are enjoined “from terminating or threatening to terminate any employee, or retaliating or discriminating against any employee in any other way, because such employee spoke or was perceived to have spoken with a representative of the U.S. Department of Labor, or otherwise cooperated or perceived to have cooperated with a U.S. Department of Labor investigation or this litigation.”

The court has also ordered the employer not to threaten to contact or contact immigration authorities; indicate that another will or has contacted immigration authorities; and ask about an employee’s immigration status because such employee spoke or was perceived to have spoken with a representative of the U.S. Department of Labor, or otherwise cooperated or perceived to have cooperated with a U.S. Department of Labor investigation or this litigation.

The court also told the defendants not to tell any of their employees not to speak to representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor or provide false information to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the terms and conditions of their employment.

The court also ordered the employer to give the employees certain notices about the lawsuit in meetings about the case, including the allegations that employees are owed back wages and that signing a statement for the employer may adversely affect the employee’s claim for those wages, according to the news release.

Recently, a former assistant sheriff sued the County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Alex Villanueva over a retaliation claim.

Also, a recent report noted that Apple retaliated against current and former female employees for complaining to the company’s People team. In six instances, women said voicing their complaints earned them a reputation as “bad team members,” resulting in their departures. In three cases, the tech giant allegedly offered a form of severance in exchange for these women to not hold the company liable.

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