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Labor Department investigations uncover many workplace violations

Many workers in Texas who do not have high-paying jobs may feel as though they have no options if they are being treated unfairly by their employers. People who work in service industry jobs such as busboys, servers or cooks often don't have many options for other kinds of jobs.

A lot of these workers may not have great command of English, either, which could make them more vulnerable to suffering violations of wage and hour laws. Many people fear retaliation for speaking out about unfair and illegal conditions to the point that they would rather endure them than try to figure out how to make them better.

There is hope for people in situations like this, however. In fact, the federal Department of Labor recently reported on a yearlong series of investigations that took place throughout 2012 in restaurants in California. The department focused on violations in the restaurant industry. Many employees were found to have been paid less than what they were owed; were paid in cash under the table instead of through official channels; were paid the same amount for overtime as for regular time; or didn't have their hours properly recorded.

As a result of these violations, the Labor Department collected more than $600,000 from a variety of employers who had underpaid hundreds of employees. While the violations all took place in California restaurants, other places in the United States with large immigrant populations such as Texas no doubt experience many of the same issues. People who find themselves in such situations can contact attorneys experienced in labor and wage issues to help them

Source: Latino Daily News, "California Restaurant Workers Recover More Than $672,000 in Unpaid Wages," Dec. 12, 2012

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