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San Francisco Burger King staff win millions in wage theft case

A Burger King employee protected with a screen, mask and gloves prepares an order. | Jesús Hellín/Europa Press via Getty Images

Burger King workers must be paid $2.2 million in stolen wages and penalties, thanks to a decision by the California Labor Commissioner's Office.

Eight former Burger King employees testified about unlawful and onerous working conditions at five Burger King locations in San Francisco during a 13-day hearing between April and June 2022 that resulted in the Dec. 19 decision.

“I am happy that justice is being served, and that the state has decided to hold the Burger King franchise owners accountable to workers,” said Daniel Marini, a former San Francisco Burger King employee, in a statement.

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The Burger King restaurant franchise, Golden Gate Restaurant Group Inc., must pay workers over $724,000 in wages, $371,000 in interest and an additional $1.2 million in penalties.

A San Francisco Burger King | Courtesy Google Streetview

Strict company policies, enforced by franchise owners Monu Singh and Harkiran "Romi" Randhawa, forced employees to work off the clock and during meal breaks, with no extra pay for overtime.

The monies must be paid within 45 days, unless Mr. Singh and Mr. Randhawa appeal the decision.

“I hope this sends a message to other workers: Don’t be afraid. If something is wrong and you’re being exploited, you can stand up, speak out and win," Marini said.

Julie Zigoris can be reached at

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