Subway overtakes McDonald’s as the biggest low pay offender in the fast food industry.
Data from the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division shows that Subway and its individual franchises have been violating the pay and hour rules as indicated in over 1,100 investigations from 2000 to 2013.
Every investigation can result to various fines and violations and Subway has violated some 17,000 Fair Labor Standards Act violations. These violations made Subway franchises reimburse their workers for over $3.8 million for the past several years. This is a big amount considering the Subway workers earn just a bit more than the minimum wage which is at $7.25 an hour.
Following Subway in the top low pay offenders list are McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Subway, however, has the most fast food chains in America with 26,000 locations all over US. This fact also contributes to the sandwich company topping the offenders list.
Subway’s low pay problems have become so severe that the Department of Labor (DOL) partnered with the sandwich company’s headquarters last year to help them comply with the labor laws. The corporate heads should make a distinction between the main company and the independent franchise operators in cases like these.
Subway hasn’t commented about topping the list yet, but McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donut already made comments about this issue. Dunkin’ Donuts claims that the company’s franchises are responsible for every employment decisions in their stores. McDonald’s on the other hand demands that broad conclusions shouldn’t be made just because of the violations of a few.
Fast food franchise model protects franchise corporations, because every franchise owner operates a small independent business even if the food locations, branding and guidelines are essentially the same. This is why the DOL has to make investigations in each of the franchises of these giant fast food industry players.