Update: Coverage from the Detroit Free Press
A Livingston County company used various policies to avoid paying employees for time worked, a federal lawsuit alleges. A complaint filed in U.S District Court in Detroit claims Brighton-based Sundance Inc., which owns more than 170 Taco Bell locations in Michigan and five other states, willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act with regard to misclassification, overtime and wage theft. "Numerous lawsuits citing similar violations of the FLSA have been filed against Taco Bell franchises throughout the country going back 15 years or more," said attorney Megan Bonanni, co-counsel for four Michigan workers who brought the lawsuit, in a press release. Read the entire Free Press story here.
From Metro Times
The complaint charges that Sundance doesn't pay employees for all the hours per week they work, nor does it pay its employees overtime they've earned, and that employees are asked to punch out and then continue working. Co-counsel Megan Bonanni of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers in Royal Oak says, "The defendant regularly shifted the hours worked by its employees in one week over to the following week so that time records wouldn't show when they worked more than 40 hours in a given week." According to Bonanni, shifting hours, misclassifying workers, and not paying full wages are widespread practices among Taco Bell franchises, as well as the fast food industry in general. In other words, it's not bad enough that people are working hard, trying to pay for their food, housing, and other bills on wages as low as $7.40 an hour --- even their low wages are being unjustly confiscated by managers.