GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced Tuesday that the operator of 30 Kentucky Fried Chicken and Arby's fast food locations in South Carolina and Georgia was made to pay $32,797 in back wages to 298 employees for violating the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Whiteford's Inc., which is based in Greenville, “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,” per a DOL news release.
This error in calculation led to Whiteford’s paying their workers lower overtime rates than required by law, as employers are required to pay overtime at 1.5 times workers' total earnings per hour, not just their base rates.
In addition, the DOL said Whitford’s deducted a portion of some employees' wages for uniforms, which resulted in minimum wage violations because those workers’ wages dipped 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 a news release. "We encourage all employers to make use of the many tools our Agency offers to help them understand their obligations and to avoid violations."