DOL Recovers Back Wages For Sandwich Shop Workers In Florida, Systematic Overtime Pay Violations (Subway Franchisee)
On January 10th, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed the recovery of $14,813 in back wages and a near-equal amount in liquidated damages on behalf of seven sandwich shop workers who were unlawfully denied overtime pay in North Florida. The workers’ rights were violated under the FLSA. Below, you will find a discussion of the enforcement action from the DOL and an overview of the steps that you should take if you believe that you were improperly denied overtime pay.
North Florida Sandwich Shop Paid Straight-Time Wages for Overtime Hours
The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor launched an investigation into the employment practices of Subway franchisees in North Florida after receiving a tip about possible overtime violations. The franchisee—owned by Penny Carter and Matthew Carter—had six Subway locations in Jacksonville and throughout the surrounding area.
The seven employees in question—who worked across the six locations—are non overtime-exempt workers. The DOl determined that the employer failed to keep proper records and paid them straight-time wages even when they worked overtime hours. In total, nearly $30,000 in damages was recovered for the affected employees. Approximately half of the amount recovered was liquidated damages.
What are Liquidated Damages in an Unpaid Overtime Claim?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits workers to seek liquidated damages in certain unpaid overtime cases. In the context of the FLSA, liquidated damages are effectively double back pay. An employee can seek double back pay for unpaid overtime.
The FLSA awards double back pay to claimants unless the employer can show that it “acted in good faith” and that the unpaid overtime violation was an honest mistake. While not guaranteed, double back pay is awarded in a substantial number of unpaid overtime claims.
Denied Overtime Pay You Earned? What to Do to Protect Your Rights
Were you denied the full and fair overtime pay in violation of the FLSA? You are not alone. Unfortunately, wage and hour violations remain a persistent problem, especially in the food service industry. It is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your financial interests. You may be entitled to full back pay and even double back pay. Here are four steps to take if you were denied overtime pay that you earned in Florida:
- Be Proactive: There are strict deadlines to bring an unpaid overtime claim.
- Document Everything: The more information you have, the better your position.
- Consider Reporting the Matter: You may need to file a complaint with the DOL.
- Seek Professional Help: A Florida wage and hour lawyer will protect your rights.
Get Help From an Unpaid Overtime Lawyer in Florida
Wage and hour rights matter. If you worked overtime hours and you are a non-exempt employee, you should be paid overtime wages. If you believe that you were unfairly denied overtime pay, please do not hesitate to contact a Florida wage and hour claims attorney for help with your case.