Illegal Pay at Fast Food Restaurants
We all know the term "flipping burgers," used to describe a low-paying job in the fast food industry. But for many fast food workers in America, the pay rate is not just low, it is illegally low. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 40 percent of American fast food restaurants consistently pay their employees less than minimum wage.
Ways that Fast Food Employers Steal Wages
In an average week, a fast food worker may work two to four hours without any pay at all. How do fast food restaurants do it? Many of their workers are regularly expected to start working before clocking in for a shift, or stay late to clean after they are already clocked out. Managers often change hours on payroll documents after the work is already done. Franchise stores use computerized payroll databases that enable them to change the hours worked before the employees time is sent to the central office for payroll.
Who is Responsible for Fast Food Industry Wage Theft?
Some workers' advocates believe that the franchise system sets up pressure on franchisees to underpay employees while giving the big name franchisers like Papa Johns and Burger King the ability to deny fault. However, the protection provided to big corporations in their franchise contracts is under scrutiny in the courts. In a New York class action against Domino's, a magistrate judge in New York's Southern District Court has allowed a group of delivery workers to list Domino's Corporation as a defendant in the case in addition to the franchisees. Domino's appeared so heavily involved in the day-to-day workings of the franchises, the magistrate wrote, that at least for now, the parent company will remain a defendant in the case.
Who Enforces Overtime and Minimum Wage Laws?
The U.S. Department of Labor is tasked with enforcing labor law compliance for all workers in the United States. The department is historically understaffed, with only 1,000 enforcement agents, about one for every 141,000 workers.
However, there is hope for workers who need help with claims for unpaid overtime or minimum wage claims. Under the minimum wage and overtime law, a civil lawyer can act as a private Attorney General to enforce the law on behalf of workers.
Call the Overtime Enforcers at Ross Law Group
Daniel B. Ross has brought together a skilled and experienced team of overtime and minimum wage lawyers, former Department of Labor investigators, and paralegals to help you with your claim. Visit our website at rosslawpc.com or call Ross Law Group today at 512-474-7677.