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A growing number of restaurants are being forced to pay employees thousands of dollars in back wages. According to the Los Angeles Times, there is a large rise in "aggressive actions against wage theft on the part of community groups and government regulators." A study from earlier this year revealed that restaurants frequently participate in wage theft by asking employees to work off the clock and then failing to pay them overtime.

This week a non-profit legal aid group will announce a settlement with a group of restaurants in Los Angeles that will have to pay $220,000 in back wages to over 60 workers. The restaurants, which include Downtown LA's Izakaya Fu-ga and El Mercadito Complex in Boyle Heights, will also have to provide sick and vacation days. A Los Angeles-based civil rights group tells the LAT that they will also unveil a settlement of over $200,000 "in unpaid wage claims for 13 workers" with a restaurant in the city.

Restaurants in California aren't alone: Earlier this month, two Aspen, Colo. restaurateurs settled a lawsuit filed against them by the U.S. Department of Labor for over $119,000 in back wages owed to over 100 past and present employees. According to the Aspen Times, the restaurateurs will also pay over $80,000 in "liquidated damages" to the employees.

The Idaho Statesman writes that the U.S. Department of Labor has ordered two Boise restaurants, including Eddie's Restaurant and Diner, to pay employees back wages due to wage theft. The owners of the restaurants must fork over $26,000 in total to 58 employees for not paying them overtime. The restaurant also cut servers' wages short to help pay for the cost of their uniforms.

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