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Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, APC Over 100 Years of Combined Litigation Experience

California Regulators Cracking Down On Wage and Hour Violations (A Lesson for Employers)


California regulators are cracking down on wage and hour violations by employers. On January 23, 2024, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announced a settlement by which The Cheesecake Factory will pay more than $1 million in back wages and other damages to nearly 600 janitorial workers in California. Here, our California employment lawyer discusses the case in more detail and highlights the lesson for employers.

Enforcement Action: Workers Underpaid By Subcontractor

 As part of comprehensive enforcement action in a multi-year case, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office (LCO) reached a $1 million wage and hour settlement with The Cheesecake Factory and two of its subcontractors. The matter addresses the companies’ underpayment of 589 janitors at various California locations of the franchise businesses from 2014 to 2017. Investigators found both minimum wage violations and overtime violations. Under California law, regulators found The Cheesecake Factory responsible for conduct of its subcontractors. As part of the settlement agreement, all contractors that work with The Cheesecake Factory must disclose past wage claims when bidding on contracts. Additionally, The Cheesecake Factory is required to audit its contractors and train managers to ensure wage and hour compliance.

 State Wage and Hour Compliance Initiative: “Reaching Every Californian 

A 2020 state initiative called “Reaching Every Californian” is focused on improving wage and hour compliance. It is a comprehensive and multi-agency campaign designed to protect workers from a wide range of labor law violations and to guide employers to help ensure that they have the right practices in place. The initiative also aims to educate the public about their wage and hour rights and the importance of reporting illegal practices. Finally, it provides state authorities with additional funding to take enforcement action to investigate and address wage and hour violations.

 Employers Should Take Proactive Approach to Wage and Hour Compliance 

An employer that violates wage and hour laws in California could face serious sanctions. Given the high priority that state regulators are placing on compliance, employers should adopt a proactive stance towards wage and hour compliance. Doing so can help to reduce the risk of adverse legal repercussions. Among other things, this includes staying informed about current labor laws, implementing regular audits, and conducting the proper employee training. An experienced California wage and hour attorney for employers can help your business or organization put the right practices in place. The right system can make the difference.

 Get Help From a Wage and Hour Attorney for Employers in California

At the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, APC, our California employment lawyer has the skills and experience to help employers navigate wage and hour cases. If you have any questions about wage and hour practices, we are here to help. Contact us today to set up a confidential, no obligation case review. We represent employers in Coachella Valley, Riverside County, and throughout California.


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