Former Panera employees in Washington, D.C. and Alabama are seeking legal action after working overtime and not being paid accordingly. The pair of employees say they were misclassified as exempt from overtime protections, working more than 40 hours per week without receiving extra compensation for their time. They routinely worked 60 hour weeks. They estimate that another 100 employees across the country may be eligible to join their suit.
Though some managers at Panera are exempt from overtime pay, the employees say their work was often janitorial or customer service in nature. That means they should be paid for the hours they worked beyond 40 hours, they argue.
The pair are seeking back pay, liquidated damages, interest, attorneys fees and any other compensation determined by the court. They have requested a trial by jury.
This is not Panera’s first overtime lawsuit. In 2011, the company $5 million to settle lawsuits centering on overtime and breaks. Employees in Florida and Georgia have filed similar lawsuits.
Because Panera is one of the largest fast casual restaurants in the country, they have thousands of managers to oversee. While the challenge of managing so many employees must indeed be difficult, the business owes it to their workers to pay them for their hard work. Clearly, the company has a history of taking advantage of their workers. Until they streamline the way they compensate overtime, they will likely continue to face lawsuits from disgruntled workers.
Unpaid Overtime Lawyers
If you believe that your employer has violated the law or failed to properly pay you your wages, our unpaid wage & overtime attorneys are here to help. Contact us to setup a free consultation to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.