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Wholesale bakery commits wage theft violations

A wholesale bakery based in Vista, San Diego, was cited for several wage violations, with assessments totaling more than $185,000. According to an investigation, Cookies con Amore, which sells its gourmet cookies to gourmet grocery stores and Whole Foods, consistently withheld overtime pay, rest and meal breaks from 73 workers, and compelled a number of them to sign a statement consenting to the wage theft violations. Interviews of employees and an audit revealed that such violations occurred between October 2013 and December 2014.

Although workers labored for shifts of 10 or more hours, they were compensated at straight time, and did not receive any overtime pay. They were permitted just one 30-minute break without any other rest period or break for a second meal. If the workers did not sign the statement agreeing to the unfair working conditions, they were directed to seek other employment.

The investigation by the Labor Commissioner was conducted in response to complaints received from California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), which is a non-profit program focusing on legal services. The Office of the Labor Commissioner, which is officially called the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, examines workplaces to determine whether any wage and hour violations have been committed, adjudicates wage claims and enforces wage rates in public works projects. It also investigates whistleblower and retaliation complaints, provides licenses and registrations for businesses and informs the public about labor laws.

A public awareness campaign called Wage Theft is a Crime was launched in 2014 by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), and has assisted workers in becoming more aware of their rights. The campaign consists of print and outdoor advertising as well as radio commercials on ethnic stations in different languages.

If you think you have been the victim of wage theft, you should consult an experienced employment lawyer.

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San Diego Assisted-Living Home Workers Found Guilty of Harming Seniors

Over the last few years, assisted-living home workers in San Diego County have been cited for negligence in their care of seniors and for giving them incorrect medications.

The facilities under fire are all referred to as “care homes”. They are not health care facilities, and employees do not have the necessary medical training for their assisted living home to be classified as a health care facility. In September of 2013, there were allegedly 27 deaths as a result of neglect and injuries across these various facilities.

One of these cases involved a resident with a wracking cough that went ignored. Approximately six days before the individual was sent to the hospital, the family was told that the senior needed medical care. The patient died at the hospital. In another case, a resident was taken to the emergency room after receiving the wrong medication from a temporary worker. The worker did not check the patient’s full name before administering the drugs (her roommate had the same first name).

Over the years, national media has detailed assisted-living staffing shortages, neglect, unsafe storage of medications, failures to call 911 when a resident sustains a serious injury and the retention of residents who need more care than an assisted-living home is able to provide.

There are approximately 7,700 assisted-living facilities in the state of California. The California Department of Social Services regulates and licenses them. The Department insists it does a credible job of staffing them and ensuring that all rules are followed in resident care.

Too many vulnerable seniors face risks when their care is not provided with dignity, respect and safety in mind. If you see or suspect any form of nursing home abuse, talk to a competent nursing home abuse lawyer. These attorneys are uniquely situated to help you put a stop to the abuse.

Daughter of Man Shot by California Deputies Sues for Wrongful Death

Several years ago, a Californian man was shot by two San Diego deputies. Allegedly, the man was suffering from depression and displaying suicidal risk signs. During a domestic dispute, his girlfriend called for police assistance. Two officers responded, arrived at the scene and asked him to raise his hands. He did so, showing that he was holding a knife. As he stepped toward the officers, they both shot him twice, killing him.

His daughter was 12 years old at the time. Now, she has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police force. At trial, the plaintiff claimed that her father was not rushing the officers and had a vacant look on his face as he stepped forward.

The man’s daughter originally filed for wrongful death, negligent hiring/supervision of the officers named as defendants and further violations of the 14th and 4th Amendment rights of her father. Initially, a federal court granted summary judgment to the deputies. The 9th Circuit court later asked the California Supreme Court if the officers would be found liable under state law. The Court answered that they could be, so the case was remanded back to the lower court in order to determine whether the daughter could file a survivorship claim as the result of the possible violation of her father’s 4th Amendment rights. The court found that the officers had fired only in self-defense, and that they did not need to wait to be attacked to take action. However, they allowed the daughter to proceed with the wrongful death portion of her claim.

Wrongful death cases are difficult for everyone involved, and this case is no exception. Each may take a number of years to be resolved. Often, cases involve larger issues and complex circumstances, so it is imperative to discuss any wrongful death situation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Do not wait to speak to a lawyer. All states have wrongful death statutes that limit when such a lawsuit may be filed. If you miss the deadline, you will no longer be able to pursue your claim.