Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Five North Carolina Subway Restaurants Paying $13,970 in Back Wages
DURHAM, NC – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), five Subway fast food franchise locations in North Carolina – owned and operated by Mahmoud Alkurdasi and Hala M. Saleh – have paid $13,970 in back wages to 150 employees for violating the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found the employer failed to pay employees for time they spent working before and after their scheduled shifts, performing tasks such as counting the cash in the register and other opening or closing procedures. Instead, the employer paid only for scheduled hours. This practice of failing to pay workers for time they had worked resulted in minimum wage violations when workers' wages dipped below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour due to this unpaid time. The Subway locations - two in Fayetteville, and one each in Raleigh, Lumberton, and Hope Mills - also made deductions from workers' pay to cover register shortages and to pay for deficiencies that needed to be corrected when workers remade sandwiches or salads for customers. These deductions resulted in additional minimum wage violations.
The employer also failed to combine hours when employees worked at multiple locations for them during the workweek. This practice resulted in overtime violations when the employees' total hours between the restaurants totaled more than 40, but the employer paid the workers with separate checks from each location, at straight time. WHD also found Alkurdasi and Saleh violated federal recordkeeping requirements by failing to keep accurate records of the number of hours employees worked, and by failing to maintain accurate records of employees' addresses, gender information, or birth dates for employees under the age of 18.
"Employers must pay employees for all of the time that they work, whether or not that time is on the official schedule. The employer bears the responsibility to record all of the time that employees actually work," said Wage and Hour District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. "The U.S. Department of Labor works hard to ensure that employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned. We encourage all employers to make use of the resources we provide to help them understand their responsibilities and operate in compliance with the law. Violations like those in this case can be avoided."
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the 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 https://www.dol.gov/whd.