It's the age of celebrity chefs, eating local and plates so stunning they're posted on social media. Diners have embraced farm-to-table restaurants, but in the rise of conscious eating, there's no way to know how the cooks and kitchen workers are treated. In part one of Burned: Abuse in LA's Restaurant Industry, reporter Karen Foshay talks to low-wage restaurant workers who haven't gotten paid what they've earned. Some worked without overtime pay, some found their tips stolen, some worked many hours off the clock. UCLA researchers have estimated that a staggering $26 million is stolen from low-wage workers each week in LA, but a culture of fear keeps most from speaking out.
Find more features at KCRW.com/investigates.
Audio production for this series by Myke Dodge Weiskopf.
The series is supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Photo: California Labor Commissioner Julie Su works to stop wage theft. (Karen Foshay)