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Latino Daily News

Monday July 16, 2012

MALDEF Sues Owner of Red Lobster & Olive Garden for Wage and Other Employment Violations

MALDEF Sues Owner of Red Lobster & Olive Garden for Wage and Other Employment Violations

Photo: Darden Restaurants & Capital Grille Sued by MALDEF

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Workers at California Capital Grille restaurants were deprived of wages and rest breaks according to a complaint filed today by the Mexican-American Legal and Education Fund (MALDEF) against Darden Restaurants, owner of Capital Grille, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden. 

This litigation is part of the campaign for “Dignity at Darden,” a national movement led by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, demanding the world’s largest full service restaurant group address the claims of their employees, ranging from legal violations such as wage and hour violations to abuses such as being overworked and having to work while sick.

Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel, said, “The Capital Grille cannot force their workers to work off the clock or keep their workers from taking legally mandated breaks.  We applaud the workers’ bravery by coming forward and seeking to end these illegal conditions for themselves and others.”  The restaurant’s practices, the MALDEF lawsuit charged, violated state labor laws. MALDEF seeks to recover for its clients all unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime compensation.

These Los Angeles employees are part of a group of more than 70 workers nationally who have come forward to join the campaign with some of them filing complaints of wage violations in lawsuits being litigated across the country against the Capital Grille. 

Originally filed in Chicago in Federal District Court with state class claims for New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Maryland, and Chicago workers, the lawsuit was severed into five separate jurisdictions after the judge and parties agreed that this was the best course of action due to the growing size and complexity of the various state claims. Thus, today the lawsuit has be severed and will be litigated in regional US District Courts in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago (Maryland & Miami is currently pending).

Click here to view all three of the full complaints filed today against the restaurant chain owner.