Updated: Sep 11, 2020
According to an article in the Scioto Post (http://www.sciotopost.com/circleville-sonic-closed/), Sonic may have illegally underpaid their workers. If true, Sonic may be violating federal and state wage and hour laws.
The Scioto Post’s reporting notes at least two wage violations: Sonic required employees to work “off-the-clock,” and Sonic paid less than minimum wage.
Working “off-the-clock” is virtually never legal for any employer. An off-the-clock violation occurs when an employee works without clocking in or clocks out early and continues to work. If the employee isn’t paid for this time, the employer violates the law—even if the employer did not specifically require the worker to not clock in (or clock out early).
According to the article, Sonic may have paid workers less than the required minimum wage. Instead, Sonic may have illegally paid its employees a “tipped” minimum wage ($4.15 in 2018) when it should have paid its employees full minimum wage ($8.30 in 2018). And even if Sonic properly classified employees as “tipped” workers, questions still remain if they paid the legally required tipped minimum wage.
These wage issues were only some of the employment-related grievances raised by the departing Sonic employees.
If any of these wage-related allegations are true, Sonic’s practices violate the Ohio Constitution, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and Ohio’s Prompt Pay Act. Those laws entitle employees to recover un- or underpaid wages, plus substantial damages. For instance, under Ohio law, if an employee is owed $1,000 in unpaid wages, that employee may be entitled to an additional $2,000 under the Ohio Constitution, totaling $3,000. Federal law allows employees to potentially recover two times their unpaid wages.
Are you an employee that has been wronged by Sonic? Do you want to let Sonic get away with it? If not, complete the form below or call us at 513-901-8130 to initiate a free and confidential case evaluation. The lawyers at Biller & Kimble have extensive experience representing employees in situations like this and can advise you about your options.
If you are worried about fees, don’t be. B&K only gets paid if the lawyers recover money for you. In many cases, the law allows B&K to recover some or all of the fees from your employer.
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