The owner of several Sonoma County McDonald’s restaurants has agreed to pay $1,155,407 to settle wage-and-hour claims brought by its workers.
A class of approximately 1,000 workers claimed that DCT Inc. and Mendes Family Enterprises Inc. denied them overtime pay and breaks. Specifically, they claimed that the company failed to reimburse workers for required material purchases and mileage, altered timecards to reduce the record of actual hours worked, forced employees to work off the clock, failed to maintain accurate wage records, failed to pay minimum wages for all hours worked and retaliated against workers.
The settlement covers hourly employees who worked as cooks, maintenance workers and shift supervisors between September 2001 and April 2007. California Superior Court Judge Gary Nadler granted tentative approval to the settlement between DCT Inc. and owner Robert Mendes and the employees’ attorneys.
Final note: Unpaid time can add up quickly when attorneys sue on behalf of all similarly situated employees. A single employee’s claim may be worth only a few hundred or a thousand dollars—not enough for an attorney to bother with. But there’s strength (and money) in numbers, and plaintiffs’ attorneys actively seek out potential class-action cases such as this one.