A group of nine former employees filed a lawsuit yesterday against the San Francisco location of megachain Joe's Crab Shack, alleging various labor-law violations. According to documents obtained by the SF Weekly, the employees, all of whom worked in the back of house, have accused the restaurant of failing to give them legally mandated rest and meal breaks, fudging the number of hours they worked and denying them overtime. The employees also allege that they were forced to pay for their own uniforms and were not given access to health insurance or health savings accounts, and that many of them were fired for speaking up about the violations.
On top of that, the plaintiffs have accused their bosses of harassment, with one manager alleged to have thrown an employee's lunch in the garbage while he was eating it and referring to a Hispanic employee as a "fucking wetback." Joe's Crab Shack has yet to comment on the allegations. Sadly, this sort of case is all too common in San Francisco, which was recently revealed to have
one of the worst rates of minimum-wage violations in the country, more than two-thirds of its minimum-wage violations coming from the food-service industry.
Update, 3:03 pm: An earlier version of this story stated that SF has one of the highest rates of minimum-wage violations in the U.S. The statement was inaccurate, as it is currently not possible for researchers to track all such violations. However, two-thirds of reported violations in San Francisco are from businesses in the food or restaurant industries.
· Former Employees File Lawsuit Against Joe's Crab Shack [SF Weekly]
· Restaurants Are Biggest SF Minimum Wage Violators [SF Public Press]
· SF Wins $525K in Restitutions For Dick Lee Bakery Workers [~ ESF ~]