Coffee and donuts on the way to work is routine for many people in Tennessee. Fortunately, commuters can usually find a Dunkin' Donuts nearby to satisfy their morning cravings. However, for workers in a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in another state, their job situation was less than satisfying. After overcoming their fear of losing their job or being reprimanded, employees joined together in a wage and hour dispute against the owner of the franchise.
The franchise owner operated 16 Dunkin' Donuts in the area, but he established each of the shops under a different corporate name. Apparently, this allowed him to schedule a worker up to 30 hours at one location and an additional 20 hours at another to avoid having to pay that employee overtime. Additionally, shift workers were allegedly required to do prep work before clocking in and cleanup after clocking out. Workers were not compensated for mandatory training and were left to pay any bank fees if their paychecks bounced.
Employees accused the owner of deducting from their paychecks if their cash registers were short. Some managers reported that their employer required them to fix scheduling changes without pay on their days off or clock out when sent off-premises for work-related errands. One hundred employees from numerous Dunkin' Donuts in the same franchise joined forces.
A class action lawsuit against the franchise owner was settled within a year, awarding the wronged employees the back pay they were due. However, this is only one of many instances of a wage and hour dispute in Tennessee and across the country. Employees deserve fair pay for their work. When employers take advantage of a worker's fear of losing a job, those employees may seek the help of an attorney for guidance in reclaiming what is rightfully owed to them.
Source: mychinews.com, "Agreement Reached in Wage Theft Lawsuit Against Chicago Dunkin' Donuts Franchisee", Jim Vail, July 28, 2017