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El Pollo Loco Franchise Settles Overtime Pay Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES — The United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has settled an overtime pay lawsuit brought on behalf of employees of El Pollo Loco for unpaid overtime wages. The El Pollo Loco franchise has four locations in Southern California, which are operated by four different companies, with a total of 69 employees who were affected by the alleged Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The restaurant chain franchisee will pay slightly more than $145,000 to the affected employees. The amount is split evenly between back wages and liquidated damages.

El Pollo Loco Investigation

After receiving claims of potential wage violations at the fast-food chain, the DOL investigated the franchisee. The investigation found that the employees were not properly compensated for all of the hours they worked for the franchisee. During the DOL’s investigation, the investigators found that many of the employees were working as many as 60 to 70 hours each week, and six or seven days consecutively. The nonexempt employees did not receive the required one and one half times their regular rate when they worked more than 40 hours a week.

The FLSA requires nonexempt employees receive a minimum wage of at least $7.25 an hour and overtime wages of one and a half the regular rate. Generally, the FLSA and those who enforce it hold employers who violate the FLSA wage provisions liable for back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, as is the case with El Pollo Loco.

Non-Exempt Employees

The FLSA establishes the minimum requirement standards employers must comply with in order for employees to be “fairly” treated and other employers to have a “fair” chance at competing in the marketplace. These minimum requirements include paying at least the federal minimum wage and overtime wage when employees work at least 40 hours a work week. The FLSA provides some exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime requirements, but most employees do not fall within these exemptions and are, therefore, considered to be “non-exempt” employees. These are the employees the FLSA is intended to protect.

Non-exempt employees will typically receive hourly wages or piecemeal wages, but may receive a salary. If you clock in and clock out each day and receive an hourly wage, you are likely a non-exempt employee entitled to overtime wages. Your employer should be paying you for all of the hours you work and time and a half for each hour you work over 40 hours. If your employer is not paying you the wages you are entitled to, contact our knowledgeable team of overtime pay lawyers at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your situation. Or our experienced legal team can evaluate your situation when you complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement. You have limited time to file your claim so call today.

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