Recovering Wages for All Hours Worked: Avendano et. al v. Averus Inc. and Michael Shank

Towards Justice represented a group of workers dedicated to cleaning commercial kitchen exhaust hoods who were dramatically underpaid for their hours worked.  These brave workers filed a lawsuit against their employer to recover wages and overtime premiums earned, but which Averus had denied workers by improperly designating numerous work hours each week as wait time or commuting time.  

Case Documents

Order Denying Summary Judgement

Order Certifying Class

Press Release

Press

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Combating Fraud that Obfuscates Workplace Rights: Mark v. O.P.E.N. America, Inc. d/b/a OPENWORKS

Towards Justice represents Ruth Mark and a proposed class of cleaning workers employed by OpenWorks. OpenWorks is a cleaning company, but it claims not to employ cleaners. Instead, it requires its workers—many of whom are recent immigrants to the United States—to incorporate into separate LLCs and enter into franchise agreements under which they purportedly operate as independent companies. OpenWorks’s misclassification of its employees not only allows OpenWorks to skirt state and federal labor and employment laws. It also allows it to charge its workers predatory franchise fees and other costs, many of which it finances for its workers, thus indenturing them to OpenWorks with extraordinary debt that often exceeds what OpenWorks’s workers are able to earn through their work. OpenWorks recruits its workers with the false promise that they will own a successful and independent business. Towards Justice’s clients assert fraud and misclassification claims against OpenWorks.

Case Documents

Complaint

Press

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In The Courtroom

Our litigators help workers advance legal claims that address systemic injustice. We use antitrust, anti-slavery, fraud, wage-and-hour, and common-law challenges to address the wide variety of practices that nickel-and-dime low-wage workers out of their hard-earned wages. We have represented a hundred thousand childcare workers alleging wage suppression, tens of thousands of immigrant detainees alleging forced labor, and hundreds of construction workers, shepherds, manicurists, janitors, and kitchen hood cleaners. We are leaders in challenging anti-competitive practices that reduce worker bargaining power and support marginalized people who challenge structural impediments to their advancement.

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