OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday in the Alameda County Superior Court claims a popular restaurant chain failed to pay fair wages to its employees.
The complaint filed by three individuals on behalf of around 100 kitchen staff alleges the owners of the Burma Superstar restaurants found in San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda failed to pay many workers minimum wage and routinely denied workers breaks, sick leave and overtime pay.
Several agencies are representing the workers in their lawsuit including The Asian Law Caucus, Centro Legal de la Raza and the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.
Jesse Newmark, litigation director at Centro Legal de la Raza, said in a statement, “This case specifically alleges wage violations at Burma Superstar, but these allegations reflect a business model that Centro Legal has seen at far too many other restaurants across the Bay Area.”
According to the plaintiffs, these allegations fit into a widespread pattern of restaurants taking advantage of workers with limited English skills who are unaware of their rights.
Additionally, plaintiffs said most of the workers, who are immigrants, were afraid to speak up about unfair treatment, as they feared retaliation.
“Back of the house workers are too often unseen and forgotten.” Carole Vigne attorney and director at LAS-ELC said in a statement.
The lawsuit further alleges the restaurants violated the state’s unfair competition law and failed to keep accurate time and pay records or provide accurate wage statements.
The plaintiffs are seeking class action status.
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