Sunset district assisted living facility settles lawsuit with SF for $270,000

A Sunset district assisted living facility settled a wage theft lawsuit with The City Thursday for $270,000, bringing The City's total recovery in similar cases this year to $1.5 million, according to the City Attorney's Office.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court in July, alleged that Sunset Gardens violated San Francisco's minimum wage law as well as the state's unfair competition law, according to the City Attorney's Office. In the process, the company allegedly underpaid four employees over a period of five years to the tune of a quarter million dollars.

“The employees were required to work shifts ranging between 12-and-one-half hours to nearly 24 hours per day, and were paid monthly wages that worked out to hourly rates well below the required minimum wage. None of the employees received the legally mandated compensation for overtime or double-time work, which typically ranged from between 80 to 250 hours per month,” a City Attorney's Office statement said.

The settlement included back wages as well as $55,000 that went to The City for the cost of the investigation.

Since 2011 seven residential care facilities have had settlements with The City in similar cases.

“The city takes wage theft very seriously and numerous city departments are collaborating to see how we can more effectively approach the problem,” said Donna Levitt, manager of the city's Office of Labor Standards Enforcement. “This Sunset Gardens case grew out of that collaboration.”

The labor standards office recovered $1.48 million in back wages and interest for workers from July 2012 to July 2013, and in that same period recovered a historic $525,000 in back wages from Dick Lee Pastry restaurant.

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