Best Ohio Wage And Hour Lawyer Reply: How do I sue my employer for wage theft if my paycheck is short all the time? Is my job exempt from minimum wage? What can I do if my boss doesn’t pay minimum wage or overtime wages?
What is the difference between a franchisor and a franchisee? And who is responsible for making sure that you are paid right? To put this simply, the franchisor is usually the name that is on the door and the franchisee is the name on the top of your paycheck. Franchisors, like McDonald’s, Subway, and Domino’s, create the image, menu and branding; and then license the name and system to franchisors to run individual locations. In turn, the franchisors, which have a different company name, hire employees and operate the store. This is why McDonald’s employees will get paychecks from Yellow Arches, Inc. or some random company and not McDonald’s. But, which one is responsible for making sure your paycheck is right? Normally, and at the very least, it is the franchisor – the company whose name appears on your paycheck. But, that may be changing to the benefit of the employee.
First, let’s go over the basic wage and our laws. As our minimum wage attorneys have previously blogged about, employers are required to pay minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA“). (See How Do I Find The Right Attorney For My Overtime Claim?; What Can I Do About Wage Theft Violations?; and Can I Have More Than One Employer For Wage & Hour Claims?). The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA also protects those employees who complain to their manager and supervisors about actual or perceived wage and hour violations. This means that an employee is protected against retaliation , including from wrongful termination, for reporting suspected, good faith violations of the FLSA including the failure to pay overtime compensation or minimum wage violations, even if the employee ends up being wrong.
Minimum wage FLSA laws apply to employees of enterprises that have annual gross volume of sales or business done of at least $500,000. It also applies to employees of smaller firms if the employees are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, such as employees who work in transportation or communications or who regularly use the mails or telephones for interstate communications. Other persons, such as guards, janitors, and maintenance employees who perform duties which are closely related and directly essential to such interstate activities are also covered by the FLSA. It also applies to employees of federal, state or local government agencies, hospitals and schools, and it generally applies to domestic workers.
There are many ways an employer can try to cut time out of an employee’s check and fail to pay either overtime or minimum wage. Sometimes employers outright just refuse to pay overtime; other times wage theft is more subtle. Recently, the New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman‘s office filed a lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza Inc for stealing worker’s wages by using a faulty computer program. The faulty computer system would under calculate employee wages leaving the employees short on their paychecks. According to an article published by Reuters “employees at the restaurants were underpaid by $565,000” because of the faulty computer program.
Interestingly Schneiderman’s office was able to sue Domino Pizza Inc. and not merely the individual franchise. Generally when you have an individual franchise refusing to pay employees minimum wage only the franchise is liable for the minimum wage violations. However in this case, because the abuse was so rampant and wide spread and because Domino’s corporate forced franchise owners to use the faulty computer systems, Schneiderman was able to bring suit against the corporate franchisor.
This case builds upon the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB“) decision last year that holds certain franchise corporate operations liable for the actions and employees of the franchise holders. The NLRB decision noted that “companies may be considered joint employers of workers supplied by a contractor if they possess even the potential to control working conditions.” In this case, by forcing Domino’s franchisees to use their corrupt and faulty system it seems that Domino’s could be held liable for the money it rightfully owes the cheated employees.
So, the moral of this story is that it is becoming more and more possible to not only to sue the franchisor in addition to the franchisee for wage theft and other wage and hour violations, such as minimum wage and overtime problems. Therefore, if you think your paycheck is short for any reason, and you are not sure what to do; the best thing is to call Brian D. Spitz and the employment law lawyers and employee’s attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards laws or you are an nonexempt employee that has been misclassified as exempt or independent contractor, contact the attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call 866-797-6040.
The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.