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McDonald’s Franchisee Settles Wage Case for $1.16 Million

DCT Inc., the owner of seven McDonald’s restaurants in Sonoma County, Calif., agreed to pay almost $1.16 million to settle claims that it unlawfully denied overtime pay and breaks to approximately 1,000 employees. The employees claimed the owners failed to reimburse them for required material purchases and mileage; altered timecards to avoid paying overtime; forced employees to work off the clock; failed to maintain accurate wage records; failed to pay minimum wages for all hours worked and retaliated against workers.

Although the owners claim “our company complied, in good faith, with California’s complicated labor laws,” they apparently felt it was better to settle than try the case. The settlement should cover hourly workers including, cooks, maintenance workers, and shift supervisors at three different stores between September 29, 2001 and April 4, 2007. A California Superior Court Judge granted tentative approval of the settlement. We will keep you apprised of any developments.

We have said it before and we will say it again: the state and federal departments of labor are extremely serious about paying your employees the proper wages, compensating them for overtime and providing adequate time off. The case of DCT Inc., should be illustrative. Test your wage payment practices now before your settling for millions. Consult with counsel about conducting an internal audit, especially focusing on your wage payment practices.

Brody and Associates regularly counsels management on all aspects of labor and employment law and ensuring compliance with all federal, state and local labor and employment laws and conducts internal audits of wage payment practices. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.