Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor takes legal action against popular restaurant chain in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida to secure more than $150,000 for 56 workers
GONZALES, La. -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has filed a complaint against Fundamental Provisions LLC, doing business as Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, and Stanley W. Ware, its owner, for failing to pay 56 current and former general managers $153,843 in minimum back wages and overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
“Employers must fully comply with the Labor Department’s wage and hour regulations,” said Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s regional administrator in the Southwest. “Employees worked as many as 50 hours in a workweek. With this legal action, the department is seeking to recover the overtime and minimum back wages owed to them.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana following an investigation by the New Orleans Wage and Hour District Office covering the two-year period from Aug. 29, 2006, to Aug. 28, 2008. The investigation found that Fundamental Provisions, headquartered in Gonzales, made deductions from the wages of store managers because of cash shortages, food waste and/or spoilage. The executive exemption in the FLSA exempts certain workers from the minimum wage and overtime requirements if certain duty and guaranteed salary tests are met. Although these managers met the duties test, the weekly salary to be earned was not guaranteed; therefore, the exemption was not applicable.
The investigation covered 30 locations – 21 restaurants in Louisiana, six in Alabama and three in Florida.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
The Wage and Hour Division concluded 28,242 compliance actions and recovered more than $185 million in back wages for more than 228,000 employees in fiscal year 2008, the latest data available. The agency also assessed more than $9.9 million in civil money penalties.
For information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Department of Labor’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or contact the Wage and Hour Division’s district office in New Orleans at 504-589-6171. Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
Editor’s Note: A list of restaurant locations follows this news release.
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