Written by Anthony Bellano Anthony.Bellano@Patch.com
The operator of 55 Dunkin Donuts locations, including one in Morganville and one in Englishtown, agreed to pay $197,787 in back wages owed to 64 employees after the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division uncovered overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
They incorrectly claimed managers at all locations were exempt from overtime. The amount owed to these managers comes out to $197,550. The managers were treated as hourly employees, but QPR claims managers were exempt because they were salaried.
Although the FSLA allows an overtime exemption for management employees who perform certain job duties, the exemption only applies if the managers receive a guaranteed weekly salary of at least $455, officials said.
"These managers worked long hours and are entitled to the protection the FLSA affords them. An employer’s failure to pay overtime when required gives them an unfair competitive advantage, violates the rights of the employee, and will not be tolerated," said Patrick Reilly, director of the division’s Southern New Jersey Office, in a press release.
At two locations, management took tips intended for customer service workers to cover register shortages. Eight employees were found to have been shortchanged $237, according to the release.
QSR has agreed to comply with FLSA, and pay all back wages, officials said.
As part of its commitment to future compliance, QSR has changed its employee handbook to reflect its intent to properly apply any valid exemptions, and to no longer allow management to take tips from employees.