The Shrimp Lover #1 Inc., a seafood restaurant in Hollywood, has been fined almost $520,000 in wage theft violations by the state’s Labor Commissioner’s office.
Owners of the restaurant, more commonly known as “The Shrimp Lover,” were ordered to pay 25 workers $471,756 for underpaid minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest breaks. The restaurant declined to comment.
An additional $47,950 was charged for wage theft violations and for providing improper wage statements and once collected, will go to the state’s general fund as required by law.
"Paying servers a daily rate below the minimum wage is a business model built on wage theft," said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su in a statement. "This case demonstrates that when workers speak up about abuse, we will investigate and employers who rely on worker exploitation will be held accountable."
According to spokesman Frank Polizzi, the Labor Commissioner’s Office was first notified of the violation by its community partner Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a civil rights group. Former and current workers had taken their grievances to AAAJ.
Over a span of two years beginning in July 2014, the Labor Commissioner’s office found that workers were paid a flat rate of $25 per shift and then a flat rate of $30 per shift from July 16, 2016 to January of 2017.
“It is important for every single person working in California to understand that they are entitled to be fairly compensated for the work they do, including taking the required meal and rest breaks,” Polizzi said. “In California, all workers have rights regardless of immigration status,” he added.
The minimum wage in L.A. County for businesses with 26 or more employees is $12 an hour and $10.50 for those lower than that employee count.
Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 556-8351. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.