(WJBK) - Some current and former employees are suing a Taco Bell franchise owner after they say they didn't get paid for hours they worked -- and it wasn't a mistake.
"Our clients in this case and in many others are living paycheck to paycheck," said attorney Jennifer McManus. "They are terrified of losing their jobs, even though they are cheated out of fair wages they still depend heavily on their jobs."
Employees and former employees of Taco Bell restaurants in Michigan -- some of them right here in Metro Detroit -- are suing Sundance Inc., the Brighton-based franchise owner.
"They were not paid overtime for time worked over forty hours a week," McManus said. "Some of them experienced what we call wage theft and what that means is although they worked certain hours, they weren't paid at all for hours and those hours were just eliminated from their time sheets."
McManus says these practices date back to 2013.
She says some employees were given manager and assistant manager titles, making them ineligible for overtime, even though they had no managerial duties.
"Many of them had their hours shifted, which means if they worked 45 hours one week, the extra five hours were actually shifted into their following week's timesheets in order to avoid even the appearance of overtime."
Sundance, Inc. owns 150 Taco Bells in Michigan and throughout the Midwest.
Neither the company nor its attorneys returned our phone calls.
The plaintiffs are seeking damages, back pay, restitution and attorney’s fees.