November 10th 2010 by ALA Editor
California employment lawyers, BISNAR | CHASE, are compiling the declarations of more than 18,000 current and former Taco Bell and Yum! Brands employees, that describe various instances of labor law violations committed by the company. Failing to compensate managers and assistant senior managers for overtime, work-related travel expenses, and breaks are among the complaints.
An original complaint was made and brought against the defendants by former Taco Bell shift manager, Sandrika Medlock. Soon after, thousands of people came forward with information revealing that the defendants had allegedly broken a range of California labor laws.
Taco Bell’s violations in question include:
Failure to pay employees overtime compensation when they exceeded the normal work day.
Failure to pay an employee his or her wages in full immediately after the employee was let go, or within 72 hours if the employee left the company voluntarily.
Failure to provide its employees with itemized wage statements that document the exact earnings.
Allegedly requirement of employees to work through meal and rest periods without added compensation.
Failure to compensate workers for their work-related expenses, including travel and dress code requirements like shoes and clothes.
Brian Chase, senior partner at BISNAR | CHASE, explains, “It’s troubling for Taco Bell and its affiliates to think it can violate clear and obvious employment laws without legal ramifications. What’s even more troubling is how pervasive and blatant the company violated even the most fundamental labor statutes, such as failing to compensate employees for lunch breaks and rest periods.”
Taco Bell Violations May be Company-Wide
California’s wage and hour labor codes require employers to reimburse employees for all business-related expenses. The complaints show that Taco Bell employees have requested reimbursement for things such as running errands for the company or parking and mileage costs incurred while at work, but have been denied. After inquiries as to why Taco Bell violated these fundamental state labor laws, it became evident that the Taco Bell employee manual did not even provide any information on how employees could submit requests for reimbursement.
“Due to the lack of reimbursement procedures in its employee manual, we can only presume this was a uniform policy that encompassed all Taco Bell restaurants,” said Chase.
The complaint seeks damages over $5 million for all unpaid wage compensation and attorneys’ fees and court costs. The class action request is pending in the Eastern District Court of California, Fresno Division.