McDonald's Wage Theft? Timesheet Fraud Alleged
You've heard of employees tampering with their timesheets, but a New York McDonald's employee claims his employer was fraudulently altering his time cards in order to cut his pay.
Frustrated ex-employee Jeff Schuyler claims his bosses at the Syracuse-area McDonald's modified his timesheets in order to avoid paying him overtime, reports The Huffington Post. His lawsuit seeks class-action status.
As wage theft continues across the country, employers should take a careful look at the laws relating to time and wage requirements.
McDonald's Employees Not Given Fair Shake?
One part of Schuyler's lawsuit against McDonald's Corp. and the Syracuse franchisee is that he and other employees were not paid for work done during their 30-minute lunch break, reports HuffPo.
After repeatedly complaining to management about the time-shaving and compensation issues, Schuyler was allegedly fired by the franchise owner, according to The Post-Standard.
Under the protections of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required by federal law to track and record time for non-exempt (non-salaried) employees.
Employers can violate this act by:
- Giving time off instead of overtime. Federal law prohibits giving employees time off in lieu of overtime pay.
- Paying less than 1.5 times normal salary for overtime. Giving employees something less than the federal amount for overtime or paying them in gifts is illegal.
- Refusing to pay for work done during breaks. Employers must pay employees for work done, even if federal law does not require employers to give lunch breaks.
New York Requires Lunch Breaks
Depending on the state, a business owner may be required by law to give her employees lunch breaks if they work long shifts.
Almost half of states require some sort of 30-minute lunch break. This includes New York, which would require McDonald's to give him a half-hour mealtime for "shifts of more than six hours that extend over the noon day meal period," according to the United States Department of Labor.
As Schuyler's former employer may be found liable under federal and state law for alleged wage theft, and the franchise owner is probably not "lovin' it."
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- McDonald's, franchise owner face class action for time-shaving (Inside Counsel)
- Wal-Mart Settles Dozens of Suits Over Wage and Hour Practices (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Burger King Franchisee Settles Harassment Suit (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Browse Employment Law -- Employer Lawyers by Location (FindLaw)
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