Leading Employment Lawyer Says Investigation into Dunkin Donuts Franchise Illustrates the Importance of Not Underpaying its Employees

Attorney Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” discussed the investigation into a Dunkin Donuts franchise in which the company was required to pay its employees back wages for work they have done.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently ordered QSR Management, a franchise operator based in Edison, New Jersey, to pay approximately $200,000 to 64 employees at its 55 shops for overtime and minimum wage violations. The agency found that QSR wrongly exempted its store managers from overtime, although the employees performed managerial duties that would entitle them to overtime. An overtime exemption applies only if managers receive a guaranteed salary of at least $455 a week. The managers would have their pay reduced when they worked less than 60 hours.

Investigators at the Labor Department also found out that management used money from its tip jars at two of its locations to cover any shortfalls in the registers. The action resulted in minimum wage violations of $237 for eight employees. QSR has since agreed to comply.

“This case is an illustration of how these employees may be subject to being underpaid,” Mr. Sack says. “By learning from this case, other companies and franchisors will be able to pay workers what they deserve.”

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