-Workers & Supporters Drop Demand Letter at LA Capital Grille Restaurant Citing Issues of Discrimination & Wage Theft–

Fed up over years of low pay and discrimination from profitable restaurant owners, Los Angeles workers, with the support of the ROC LA, have joined the national movement to improve jobs in the restaurant industry. Initially launched on January 31st by workers in New York City, the Washington, DC area, and Chicago, yesterday Los Angeles workers joined the campaign for “Dignity at Darden,” demanding that the largest full-service casual dining company in the world end discrimination and wage theft at its high-end Capital Grille restaurants in those cities. These Los Angeles Capital Grille workers share claims with workers in New York City, Washington, D.C.-area, and Chicago of alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act – reflective of a corporate-wide policy of racial discrimination – and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws.

“There are millions of people who make restaurant jobs their career, such as the workers in this campaign for Dignity at Darden,” said Stephanie Cho, Coordinator of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles. “These workers earn poverty wages, have no sick leave, and face discrimination that prevents them from moving up in the industry. More than 10 million families rely on restaurant work for their survival – we need restaurants to provide good jobs that can support families and help strengthen our recovering economy.”

Today, over 30 workers and ROC supporters walked in to Capital Grille at Beverly Center in LA during the busy lunch hour and handed over letter to the manager citing workers allegations of discrimination – being denied equal opportunity to obtain adequate training and promotions from within and consistent verbal abuse – wage theft, and hostile work environment. Javier Rosas, a recent dishwasher at Capital Grille, said, “The workplace here is so hostile and there is much abuse – they treat the workers, especially immigrant workers, with very little respect.”

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