Terranea employees have filed a class action lawsuit against the ritzy Rancho Palos Verdes resort, alleging various wage theft violations. The lawsuits lists denial of meal and rest breaks, failure to pay for full hours worked, and failure to reimburse for work supplies among the complaints they announced this morning.
Per California labor law, employees are entitled to one ten-minute break for every four hours worked. According to Terranea employee Freddy Lovato, the kitchen is “incredibly busy and we are regularly not permitted to take breaks.” Furthermore LAist reports that employees cite several instances when they were asked to alter their time sheets to show breaks that they did not actually take.
While it is common practice for restaurants to ask cooks to bring their own knife kits, the suit also alleges that Terranea employees are not reimbursed for their own kitchen tools such as knives, knife sharpeners, and spatulas.
However, the largest point of contention seems to be the issue of uncompensated travel time. When events are scheduled at the resort, employees are asked to park at offsite lots, where they’re then are shuttled to the hotel in company vehicles to make room for guests in the parking lot. Workers claim that this can add over an hour of time to their commute, and are asking for this time to be reimbursed.
Galen Landsberg, a Terranea cook, explains “Rancho Palos Verdes is not somewhere we workers can afford to live, so we drive long distances each day to get to work. I live in mid-City Los Angeles. It’s frustrating that, on top of the long commute, we have to come in early to take the company’s shuttles from the offsite lots and are not paid for this time.”
Eater reached out to Terranea, and received the following statement:
Terranea Resort strictly adheres to and abides by all labor laws. We value each of our associates and are committed to ensuring fair treatment and compensation for their time and dedication. At this time, we have not received a copy of the alleged document and therefore cannot comment on its contents.