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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [04/09/2012]
Contact Name: Michael D'Aquino or Michael Wald
Phone Number: (404) 562-2076 or x2078
Release Number: 12-0517-ATL

Tampa Bay, Fla., Subway franchisee ordered to pay more than $11,000 in back wages and damages to workers following US Labor Department investigation

TAMPA, Fla. — A Subway eatery franchisee with 29 locations in the Tampa Bay area has been ordered to pay 122 employees a total of $7,536 in minimum back wages plus $3,768 in liquidated damages by Judge Richard Lazzara of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. The judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against Franchise Equity Group Inc., doing business as MacSub, which followed an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage provisions.

Employees included in the judgment were not paid for work hours spent taking Subway "Sandwich Artist Certification" training courses, which resulted in the minimum wage violations. The payments will be distributed directly to the employees by the company. Funds will be turned over to the Wage and Hour Division for any employees the company is unable to contact. Individuals who believe that they may be involved in this case should contact the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

"Low-wage workers deserve the full protection of federal labor laws," said James Schmidt, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Tampa District Office, which conducted the investigation. "The Wage and Hour Division is continuing its restaurant enforcement initiative throughout Florida to make sure employees of both full-service and limited-service restaurants receive their full pay, and that employers who follow the law do not have to face unfair competition from those who ignore it. This lawsuit illustrates that the division will use any enforcement tools necessary to resolve cases where vulnerable workers have been exploited."

Under the court order, the employer is enjoined from future violations of the FLSA.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, as well as one and one-half times their regular rates for hours worked over 40 per week. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.

Legal representation was provided by the Labor Department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in Atlanta. Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the Department of Labor is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search. For more information on the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division's Tampa office at 813-288-1242 or its toll-free helpline. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.

Solis v. Franchise Equity Group Inc.
Civil action file number: 8:12-cv-00527-RAL-EAJ