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California taquería fined for wage theft and hiring a ‘priest’ to convince workers to confess their sins

2023-06-16T15:02:13+00:00
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  • A California taquería is fined for violating labor laws.
  • Taquería Garibaldi was fined thousands for wage theft.
  • The owners hired a ‘priest’ to convince workers to confess their sins.

California taquería fined for violating labor laws. US Department of Labor officials described the owners’ conduct as «contemptible and shameless» after an investigation into questionable business practices.

The owners of Taquería Garibaldi went so far as to threaten workers over their immigration status and hiring a fake priest to convince employees to confess their sins at work.

Taquería will pay thousands for violating labor laws

Taquería will pay thousands for spying on employees with a priest
PHOTO CARLOS MORENO/MUNDONOW

An employee testified in court against Taquería Garibaldi and described how he and others were convinced to confess their sins to a ‘priest’ in the restaurant.

Under oath, the employee said that the alleged priest urged them to «take away their sins» and asked the employees if they had stolen from their employer, arrived late for work, been drinking on the job, or had ill will towards their employer.

The taquería was investigated by the Department of Labor

The Taquería was investigated
SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO

After an investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, US District Court Judge William B. Shubb fined the restaurant on May 8.

«Che Garibaldi and the owners and operators Eduardo Hernández, Héctor Manual Martínez Galindo and Alejandro Rodríguez must pay $70,000 in back wages and $70,000 in damages to 35 employees,» the press release details.

They tried to intimidate their employees

They tried to intimidate their workers
SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO

The judge further ordered the restaurant and its owners to pay the department $5,000 in civil money penalties due to the willful nature of their violations. The investigation indicated that the employer tried to intimidate workers with their immigration status to prevent them from reporting the wrongdoing.

Authorities explained that they should «make it clear that immigration status does not influence the rights of workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act,» said Regional Labor Attorney Marc Pilotin. “This employer’s despicable attempts to retaliate against employees were aimed at silencing workers, obstructing an investigation, and preventing the recovery of unpaid wages,” Pilotin said.

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