Restaurant Workers Sue for Overtime Pay

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The Texas Civil Rights Project
Press Release

Restaurant Employees Sue for Overtime Pay

Protesters Walk the Line

EL PASO (Feb. 2, 2010) — A group of community members protested in front of Los Gallegos Mexican Restaurant at 4400 North Mesa Street today asking for the payment of unpaid overtime compensation for workers of the restaurant. Two local organizations, the Labor Justice Committee and Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project (PCRP) rallied behind a former employee who is attempting to recover thousands of dollars in overtime wages for several years of work.

PCRP filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jose Luis Villarreal, a former employee of Los Gallegos restaurant, asking for thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime pay and other damages from the restaurant owner.

Protesters in Solidarity

"I worked for Los Gallegos for nine years and always worked over forty hours per week. I asked the owner of Los Gallegos many times during my employment why he was not paying us our overtime hours," said Mr. Villarreal, "In the end he fired me for standing up for my rights. In the restaurant industry, many workers are working from forty up to ninety-hour weeks without any overtime pay. It is time that restaurant owners pay their employees the overtime they deserve."

Restaurant employees must receive at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. Overtime pay is time and a half of the promised hourly rate.

"Mr. Villarreal was a victim of systematic and severe overtime violations. By not paying overtime wages to its employees, Los Gallegos is robbing thousands of dollars from its workers every year," said Chris Benoit, an attorney with Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project, "And this is not an isolated incident. A recent report by the National Employment Law Project stated that 76% of low-wage workers see overtime violations similar to Mr. Villarreal’s case."

"Employers in El Paso seem to think they are above the law. We are here to keep these employers from acting with such impunity." added Gabriela Barraza, a member of the Labor Justice Committee as she held up a sign that read "Honk To Support Worker’s Rights!"

Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project also filed a lawsuit today in state court against Jerusalem International Food and Grill, LLC for unpaid minimum wage and overtime wages owed to a former employee.

Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project announces our

Fourth Annual
Fiesta Fronteriza

Remembering Our Roots, Building Our Future

El Paso Community College
Administrative Services Building
9050 Viscount
El Paso, Texas 79925

Friday, May 7
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

In order to thank our loyal supporters
we are offering discounted registration prices for a limited time.
Register on our secure site and reserve your table now!

If you prefer to make a reservation by telephone,
please call Sandra Arzate at 915-532-3799 x 22.

If you wish to make a reservation by mail, please click here for a printable order form.

Marketing opportunities also available!

Thank you for promoting racial, economic, and social justice, and for your generous support.

See you at the Fiesta!

Donate Today

Support TCRP: Working for Economic Justice Across Texas

Texas Civil Rights Project


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