How do I handle this?

I’m a manager under a contract with a major fast food chain and they are breaking labor laws left and right this past pay period myself and others were forced to come in and work extra hours they are now saying that those are volunteer hours and we are not getting paid for them they won’t give us our breaks even minors and they bring up this contract and how ill have to pay them back and tell me that I am lucky to have this job every time I speak up about how they treat us. What can I do?

Asked on May 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

All work time is compensable and a worker must be paid for it. There are no "volunteer" hours for hourly workers. You can sue in small claims court for any wages owed you or file a wage claim wth your state's department of labor. Specifically, this can be done by filling out an Employment Wage Complaint Form which should include as much information/documentation as possible. You can do this yourself or use an attorney.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they are breaking labor laws--including especially not paying you for all work done; there is no such thing as legal "volunteer" hours for hourly employees, and all hours worked must be paid--you can file a complaint with the state or federal department of labor, which enforces the labor and wage laws; you may be entitled to compensation for these violations, and it would itself be illegal for them to retaliate against you for bringing a complaint or claim to the department.

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