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Fast food companies found guilty of wage and hour law violations

Employees of several national fast food companies are reportedly finding support in the county's courts, including some in Florida. Multiple claims related to wage and hour law violations have been filed against McDonald's, Chipotle, Papa John and others. The charges included wage theft, discrimination and worker intimidation.

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board found that the workplace policies of Chipotle were illegal after an employee alleged he was fired about social media entries he made. The employer claimed the worker's tweets were disparaging, and his claims that workers were not allowed to take required breaks were false. Chipotle was ordered by the NLRB to reinstate the employee and pay restitution of lost wages.

Chipotle also appears to have a record of sexual discrimination in the way it treats pregnant women. Recently, the company agreed to a $550,000 settlement payment for damages in a discrimination case as described in our post on August 10 ("Workplace discrimination: Pregnant Chipotle worker gets $550,000"). Also, a federal grand jury in Ohio found the company guilty of gender discrimination in February. It was then determined that Chipotle fired three former managers because they were pregnant.

Other fast food companies follow similar policies. In August, workers at five outlets of McDonald's filed a class action lawsuit against the franchise for wage and hour law violations, and it is expected that 400 to 500 employees may join the suit. Papa John's franchises were also found to be guilty of wage theft after the Attorney General's office reportedly found such violation in 30 of the company's restaurants. Earlier this month, a class action lawsuit alleging wage theft was also filed against the Wahlburgers chain that belongs to the family of a Hollywood actor.

It appears workers of fast food outlets in Florida and elsewhere are regular victims of employment discrimination and wage and hour law violations. Every worker, regardless of the industry, has rights as an employee and retains the right to pursue recovery of damages sustained. An experienced employment law attorney may provide the support and guidance necessary to take on companies, such as national franchisors, on behalf of victims.

Source: rt.com, "Under fire: Chipotle, Papa John, McDonald's over 'pervasive' wage theft and discrimination", Aug. 27, 2016

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