If I work for a company that owns 10 fast food restaurants and worked at 2 of them, 40 hours at one and 5 hours at anther, am I eligible for overtime?

Each restaurant has it’s own EIN number and is it’s own company so they are considered 10 companies. I worked 40 hours in restaurant A and then helped at restaurant B for 5 hours. The 5 hours were not OT because the companies are separate. I was paid the 5 hours from that stores payroll and the 40 from the other. I was told I had to work at the same location over 40 hours to receive overtime. Is this correct? Not sure if it makes sense too.

Asked on November 30, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not whether the companies are technically distinct (e.g. different EINs; different LLCs or corporations) but whether they share management. If they share management, then you should have been paid overtime, since employers may not escape their overtime obligations by simply having different business entities or structures and dividing employee time among them. But if management was separate then it's like having two different jobs--the hours are not pooled for overtime purposes.
You write that you work for a company that owns 10 fast food restaurants. If you work for the parent and the parent has the power to direct whom the individual locations employ, so the parent sent you from A to B, you should most likely have received overtime. If the parent however has no say over staffing and you got the extra hours at the second store yourself without the parent causing that to happen, then you probably are not owed overtime.


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