DETROIT, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A lawsuit has been filed against a Taco Bell franchisor owning restaurants in six states for multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The collective action complaint, filed on behalf of workers by Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers here in U.S. District Court, names the Brighton-based Sundance, Inc. as defendant.
Sundance, Inc. operates over 170 Taco Bell restaurants in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio.
According to the complaint, Sundance doesn't compensate employees of its Taco Bell outlets for all hours worked in a given week nor for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The lawsuit also alleges that salaried general managers and assistant managers were misclassified as exempt employees and not paid for their overtime, even though they didn't have the managerial authority or responsibility to meet exemptions from overtime pay set forth in the FLSA.
"The defendant regularly shifted the hours worked by its employees in one week over to the following week so that time records wouldn't show when they worked more than 40 hours in a given week," said co-counsel Megan Bonanni of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers in Royal Oak, Mich.
Bonanni also noted that the practice of shifting hours and misclassifying workers to avoid paying them full wages is widespread among Taco Bell franchises and throughout the fast food industry.
"Numerous lawsuits citing similar violations of the FLSA have been filed against Taco Bell franchises throughout the country going back 15 years or more. Wage theft seems to be a standard operating procedure at many Taco Bell outlets," said Bonanni.
The complaint alleges that the Sundance-owned Taco Bell restaurants used a variety of tactics to avoid paying employees for time worked, including requiring managers and others to clock out of the company's timekeeping system while continuing to work so that the outlet's total labor hours didn't exceed set quotas.
"The plaintiffs reported that they and other hourly workers at these Taco Bell outlets were regularly instructed by managers to clock out and continue working. Each restaurant has a labor budget and managers are under a lot of pressure to limit the number of hours paid, no matter how much time employees actually work," said Jennifer MacManus, co-counsel for the plaintiffs of Fagan McManus, also located in Royal Oak, Mich.
McManus said that many salaried managers of Sundance-owned Taco Bell restaurants worked well over 60 hours per week and often more than 80 hours weekly. As a result, the salaried managers were regularly paid an effective hourly rate that was lower than the crew members they oversaw.
The lawsuit asks for an award of unpaid overtime and regular wages; damages; interest; a declaratory judgement that the labor practices are unlawful; costs and attorneys' fees.
See the entire complaint at http://bit.ly/2k9DUKO.
About Fagan McManus
Fagan McManus represents employees who have been wronged in the workplace. The Royal Oak-based law firm handles a wide range of employment law matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, family leave, wage and hour disputes and severance agreements. More at FaganLawPC.com.
About Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers
Pitt McGehee Palmer and Rivers is one of Michigan's largest law firms specializing in civil and workplace rights. Its attorneys represent clients in a wide range of actions, including sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, wage and hour violations, whistleblower issues and discrimination based on age, gender, disability, race and national origin. More at PittLawPC.com.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/class-action-lawsuit-alleging-wage-theft-filed-against-sundance-inc-a-taco-bell-franchisor-in-six-states-300416541.html
SOURCE Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers