Labor Department sues Subway franchisee to recover back wages, damages for 68 employees
The investigation, which covered the period of July 21, 2009, through July 12, 2011, found that Hray Enterprises failed to pay employees for hours worked after the eateries closed to finish nightly closing procedures, resulting in both minimum wage and overtime violations. Additionally, deductions made from some employees' wages for cash register shortages caused their pay to fall below the required minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The company also violated the FLSA's Hazardous Occupations Order No. 12, which prohibits workers under age 18 from loading, operating or unloading paper balers or trash compactors. Five minors employed by Hray Enterprises were required to load and operate two paper balers and one trash compactor on a regular basis.
An investigation of Hray Enterprises in 2005 found violations of the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime, record-keeping and child labor provisions. At that time, the company was fined $4,620 in penalties for child labor violations and ordered to pay $1,463 in back wages due 10 employees.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers may make wage deductions for cash register shortages, certain uniforms and food; however, the deductions cannot result in an employee earning less than the minimum wage for all hours worked in every workweek. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees' wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained. Finally, employers who violate the law are liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees.
A listing of hazardous occupations prohibited for minors is available on the Wage and Hour Division's website at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/docs/haznonag.asp. Additional information on child labor rules can be found at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/index.htm.