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Sandwich chain faces employment claims

Now with nearly 2,000 franchises across the country, including many in New York, Jimmy John's sandwich company has steadily grown over the last three decades. Many people know the chain for its boast that it delivers its sandwiches "freaky fast." According to two former employees, though, there is also something freaky in the way the company pays its employees.

The two employees recently filed a lawsuit in a federal court accusing the Illinois-based company of engaging in systematic wage theft, an affront to their employee rights. The legal action is a proposed class action lawsuit. The employees claim their respective managers would log them out during their shifts even though they were still working. The practice deprives employees of overtime pay, which they technically are entitled to whenever they work off the clock. This wage practice, the employees claim, is part of a set of corporate policies that affect other workers. The employees noted that the bonuses managers receive depend on whether or not they hit labor expense targets.

In November 2013, delivery drivers filed a legal action accusing the fast-food chain of forcing them to shoulder vehicle costs, a practice that led to them earning less than minimum wage. In 2012, a judge ruled in favor of six workers who were fired after a failed bid to unionize the company's workers.

Failure to pay required wages, not paying for overtime and denying benefits are just a few examples of labor rights violations. Whatever the violation is, however, workers in New York can assert their rights by filing a lawsuit against their employers. A worker can ask for damages and reinstatement if the employee was wrongfully terminated. Once reinstated, a worker should be mindful of any act of retaliation on the part of the company. Retaliation is prohibited by labor laws.

Source: Huffington Post, "Jimmy John's Accused Of 'Systematic Wage Theft'," Davie Jamieson, Aug. 11, 2014

Source: Huffington Post, "Jimmy John's Accused Of 'Systematic Wage Theft'," Davie Jamieson, Aug. 11, 2014

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