Across the U.S., millions of men, women and teenagers work in the restaurant, bar and food services industry. A large majority of these individuals work long hours to take home pay that equates to minimum wage. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, U.S. employers are required to pay employees at least minimum wage. Additionally, the FLSA provides that non-exempt or hourly employees be paid one-and-a-half times their hourly salary for every hour worked over the 40-hour weekly maximum.
Unfortunately, reports of employers who violate wage and hour laws are all too common. In many cases, details surrounding such reports describe an employer's intentional actions to avoid paying workers minimum wage or overtime wages. One of the most recent examples of wage and hour violations involves the franchise fast food chain Jimmy John's.
With nearly 2,000 locations throughout the U.S., the sandwich chain stands out among competitors due to its unique and irreverent attitude that includes clever quips and a motto that promises "freaky fast" service. According to a recent lawsuit, Jimmy John's is also known amongst at least some employees for failing to pay workers minimum wage and overtime pay.
The lawsuit, which was filed by two Jimmy John's employees, alleges the company has a corporate-sanctioned practice of clocking workers out regardless of whether the worker has completed required closing duties. Employers who are accused of taking this type of action often argue that the fault lies with incompetent employees who are unable to complete required work duties within a reasonable timeframe. However, the plaintiffs in this case contend the company does not provide employees with ample time to complete the laundry list of closing tasks. What's more, the lawsuit asserts store managers are encouraged to clock employees out due to a corporate incentives program.
Broward County residents who believe an employer has violated wage and hour laws would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney. An attorney can investigate a claim and, if deemed appropriate, pursue legal action to help a wronged employee recover back pay as well as other monetary damages.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Jimmy John's Accused Of 'Systematic Wage Theft'," Dave Jamieson, Aug. 11, 2014