Subway franchisee must pay 122 employees back wages

Michael P. Tremoglie Apr. 11, 2012, 8:45am

TAMPA, Fla. (Legal Newsline) -- A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida has ordered a Subway sandwich franchisee with 29 locations in the Tampa Bay area to pay 122 employees a total of $7,536 in minimum back wages plus $3,768 in liquidated damages.

The judgment is the result of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against Franchise Equity Group Inc., d. b.a. MacSub, after DOL's Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's which 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.

The employees were not paid for work hours spent taking Subway Sandwich Artist Certification training courses, which resulted in the minimum wage violations. The employees will be paid directly by the company. Funds will be turned over to the Wage and Hour Division for any employees the company is unable to contact.

"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.

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