The Plaintiffs in this lawsuit are Hispanic fast food restaurant employees who regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek for several Jack in the Box franchise restaurants.
However, the employer engaged in a scheme whereby those employees were not credited with all overtime hours worked. Instead, the employer credited those hours worked over 40 to fake employees. Checks for straight-time hours worked over 40 were then issued to the fictitious employees without any overtime premium. Those fictitious employee checks were then typically cashed by the employer, and after deduction for a check processing fee, the employees were paid cash for hours worked over 40 at straight-time only. On paper, it appeared that no employee was working overtime, but in reality, these employees were working many unpaid overtime hours per week.
In addition to seeking damages for unpaid overtime wages, these employees also seek damages under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 because they believe they were subjected to this scheme due to their Hispanic ancestry. In fact, many of the employees were told that they or their family members would be deported if they complained about not being paid overtime. The law is clear that immigration status is not relevant in overtime wage cases, and documented and undocumented workers alike are eligible for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.