After investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Whiteford’s Inc. – operator of 30 Kentucky Fried Chicken and Arby’s fast food locations in South Carolina and Georgia, and based in Greenville, South Carolina – has paid $32,797 in back wages to 298 employees for violating the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found the employer failed to include workers’ performance-based bonuses in the calculation when determining their overtime rates, resulting in violations for assistant managers and shift leads who received these bonuses every four weeks. Excluding these amounts from the calculation resulted in the employer paying these workers overtime at rates lower than those required by law. The FLSA generally requires employers to pay overtime at one-and-one-half times workers’ total earnings per hour, not just their base rates.
In addition, the employer deducted a portion of some employees’ wages for uniforms, which resulted in minimum wage violations when those deductions caused workers’ hourly wages to dip below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
“The outcome of this case puts these wages into the hands of those who earned them, and demonstrates how the U.S. Department of Labor’s enforcement levels the playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel, in Columbia. “We encourage all employers to make use of the many tools our Agency offers to help them understand their obligations and to avoid violations.”