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Monday, July 28, 2014

Señor Fish chain agrees to pay workers $90,000 in unpaid wages and damages

Señor Fish in Echo Park

Señor Fish, the local Mexican seafood chain that opened an outlet in Echo Park in May, has agreed to pay $90,000 in back wages and damages as part of a settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Labor. The agreement cover 74 current and former workers and  follows an investigation into alleged violations of Fair Labor laws. “Employees were paid ‘straight time’ for all hours worked and did not receive an overtime premium for hours worked beyond 40 per week as required,” said a Labor Department announcement. “In addition, the employer failed to record cash payments made to its employees.”

Investigators were tipped off about the violations through its EMPLEO program, which assists Spanish-speaking workers  with job-related issues and concerns.

In addition to the financial settlement, Señor Fish agreed to train employees on fair labor practices and provide, install a computerized timekeeping system and inform workers on how they can download a free app to keep track of their time and potential overtime wages.

The family-owned chain, which started with a restaurant in Highland Park (now closed), operates in seven locations.

27 comments

  1. Forget about those unpaid workers – when are they going to clean up their Echo Park location and make it look like it’s actually open for business?

    Only (halfway) joking here, folks.

  2. That’s pretty sad, taking advantage of their Spanish speaking employees. I am glad that the workers had the courage to stand up for themselves. I hope that they are not subject to retaliation!

    • the retaliation and/or concequences they will probably face is getting fired. It happened to me when I filed a worker’s comp claim against my employer for a work related injury.

  3. Believe it or not, that straight-time overtime issue happens a lot in the professional “white-collar” world as well.

    • happened to me when i used to work at american rag.

    • In fact, most people who work a position for a salary vs. hourly wage work well beyond 40 hours per week for no overtime pay. It’s the ‘legal’ way of taking advantage of people.

      • Teachers do it every day. They also do a lot of work preparing for classes during their vacations. People who complain about teachers’ long vacations have no idea that they spend a lot of that time preparing materials, lessons, etc. for their classes, even going into school to work on the rooms themselves.

      • Amen Rosie!!

      • Rosie,
        Did you know it was a salary position before you took the job? Well then, it wouldn’t be them taking advantage of you. That would be on you sweety.

        • here we go the first one, man can we just listen and chat, and let the smart ? out

          • @White Bear. I feel your pain.

          • I agree Rabbit. It must be painful to not be able to write a comprehensible statement…

          • Harvey the Rabbit

            Cluey, were you at the Echo Park Rising yesterday ? Hand picking who is allowed to live in your new neighborhood, so that nobody soils all the hard work you have accomplished for your community in the past 2 1/2 months. I hope you didn’t spot me and tag me for the Gulag. PS. You did make me LOL with your last comment here ! I am a fair guy, most of us LA natives are.

  4. Even Thomas Keller’s world famous Beverly Hills restaurant Bouchon rips off their employees.

  5. So much for new glass at the echo park location anytime soon…

  6. now ” senor fish” pay back…

  7. Maybe the Echo Park locale employees needed incentive. This place needs to act and look like a place of business. The two times I was there ensured there would be no third time. I would sooner make the trip to Eagle Rock.

    • The Eagle Rock location also has its problems. Several years ago the residential neighbors ended up having to go to a public hearing at City Hall to get Sr. Fish to be a better neighbor and stop permanently storing trash and graffiti covered trucks in their parking lot. One of the conditions of them being granted a temporary use permit to serve alcohol was that they had to stop using their parking lot for trash storage and open it up for patrons to be able to park in and are supposed to clean up graffiti in a timely manner. They don’t pile trash and store dead vehicles in the parking lot anymore but they don’t do anything about graffiti building up.

      There were several letters read out loud at the public hearing that were written by people in Eagle Rock who live near some rental houses that the owner of Sr. Fish owns. Apparently the houses are nuisance properties that are a blight on the street and the the owner would do nothing to rectify the problems even after numerous complaints from the neighbors.

      • That’s true Bicurious! The houses are rented to Occidental students who have thrown big parties with all of the associated problems. Occidental security has been very helpful and there have been fewer issues as of late. I recall hearing that the owner was unsympathetic to the complaints of neighbors, but that was more than a few years ago.

  8. can we sue them for not finishing the remodel on the EP location? at least the hand made signs on construction paper that were taped to the windows are gone. but at least then you knew something must be happening inside. what exactly is anyones guess. i was so excited for them to open. usually a new business moves in and improves on what was there before. i think they forgot that part. well that, and not paying employees.

  9. Uh, “sweety” ??
    Who needs Senior Fish when there are awesome taco trucks nearby that are cheaper and way better? The S.F. in Echo Park looks like they don’t care about anything in there but the cash register, and the salsas are horrible, taste like canned soup. I never want to go back there anyway, but now that I know they mistreat their workers, all the more reason to boycott. And yes, I agree that all sorts of work places rip off their employees, and in this economy, they can really get away with it. Unless we revolt. And we should.

  10. ……..all complaints aside, the food is yummy. Hope they treat all their employees up
    to fair standards. Just remember though, it’s an employers mkt.

  11. I ate at this location last night for the first time. I will give then props for the hand-made tortillas–but the tacos were pretty lousy.

  12. One night last week I was in line at Taco Zone and the ladies had to pack up and leave for some sort of emergency, so I went to Senor Fish and ate there for the first time . I thought the vegetarian tacos were pretty good, although I much prefer Taco Zone (cheaper and tastier).

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