Janitors who cleaned several Cheesecake Factory locations in San Diego County are owed millions in wages, overtime and meal penalty fees according to the California Labor Commission.
Employees were hired to work overnight beginning at midnight and were not given meal or rest breaks, state officials said. Then, before they could be released in the morning, their work had to be reviewed by kitchen managers. The reviews often led to additional work, state officials said.
Each worker logged up to 10 hours of unpaid overtime each week, the Labor Commission found.
The restaurant and Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning, its janitorial subcontractor, will pay $4.5 million in lost wages and fines, following an investigation by the California Department of Industrial Relations.
Zulma Villegas, the owner of Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning, must pay $3,936,359 to the workers affected by the wage theft, state officials said.
Cheesecake Factory Restaurants and Americlean Janitorial Services Corp. (DBA Allied National Services) were fined $4.2 million under a law enacted in 2015 that makes client employers responsible for workplace violations committed by subcontractors.
Three locations in San Diego County were under investigation including the restaurants on Friars Road inside the Fashion Valley mall and on Harbor Drive in the Headquarters at Seaport and the Escondido location at Via Rancho Parkway inside Westfield North County.
“We take matters of this nature very seriously. We are continuing to review the allegations and will respond to the wage citation within the time provided,” Sidney M. Greathouse, Vice President, Legal Services for The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated said in a written statement.
Anyone with work -related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at (844) LABOR-DIR or (844) 522-6734.