U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in California Fast-Food Franchisee Paying $511,117 in Back Wages and Liquidated Damages
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JB Restaurants Inc., which operates 14 Jack in the Box fast-food restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, will pay $511,117 in back wages and liquidated damages to 152 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the employer violated overtime and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The company will pay $255,558 in overtime back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The child labor violations led WHD to assess an additional $18,529 in civil money penalties.
WHD investigators found JB Restaurants failed to total the hours individual employees worked at different locations owned by the franchisee during each workweek when determining whether overtime was due, and also failed to record the number of hours actually worked by employees. Overtime violations resulted when workers' combined totals exceeded 40 hours per week, but the employer paid for those hours separately for each restaurant as straight time. Investigators also found minors operating prohibited equipment, including deep fryers and trash compactors, and working during hours prohibited by FLSA's child labor regulations.
"We encourage employers to contact the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division for assistance, and to make use of the many tools we provide to help them understand the law and avoid violations," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Susana Blanco, in San Jose. "This investigation shows our commitment to ensuring that workers receive their full earnings, that young workers remain safe on the job, and that all employers compete on a fair and level playing field."
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.