Abramson Labor Group Wins Unanimous Plaintiff Verdict in Retaliation…

unanimous jury verdict

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Abramson Labor Group ("ALG") is proud to announce the winning of a unanimous jury verdict in favor of our client William Ortega.

The Plaintiff in this case, Mr. Ortega, filed a civil lawsuit alleging claims of Failure to Pay Overtime, Failure to Pay Minimum Wage, Failure to Provide Meal and Rest Periods, Failure to Pay Wages Due on Termination/Waiting Time Penalties, Failure to Issue Accurate Itemized Wage Statements and Retaliation in Violation of Labor Code § 98.6.

Through the majority of the course of Plaintiff William Ortega’s employment with Defendant The Kirin Hut, he was grossly underpaid for his services, refused breaks and lunches, and when he complained of these violations of his rights under the labor code, he was taken off schedule for weeks and his hours were reduced to a pittance of the time he had worked on his previous schedule. Unable to earn a living to survive, Mr. Ortega was forced to relocate for work in El Paso, and live with his father in Juarez, Mexico, leaving his sister and the city where he lived his entire life behind. Even more egregious, the owner of The Kirin Hut admitted at trial she knew of Mr. Ortega’s poor financial situation, and knew what she was supposed to pay him under the California wage and hour laws, but failed to provide him with the wages owed.

As the above violations were clear from the testimony and evidence presented in trial, the Los Angeles Superior Court jury found for the Plaintiff in a unanimous verdict, awarding $40,809.13 in economic damages, emotional distress, and penalties, and another $50,000.00 in punitive damages against Defendant.

The Court also granted Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs and ordered that Defendant The Kirin Hut pay Mr. Ortega an additional $296,094.01. This brought the total amount owed by Defendant to a total of $386,903.84. William Ortega was represented at trial by Mr. Jeremy Levy along with support from several attorneys at ALG including Zev Abramson, Jack Gindi and Nissim Levin.

The outcome of this trial is good news for all employees in California. The verdict rendered by the jury reinforced California's meal and rest break requirements- as well as the fact that no employer in California can retaliate against their employee for voicing complaints about illegal workplace activity.

(Los Angeles Superior Court, BC697311)

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