ORLANDO — This May, a former Panera Bread baker filed a federal overtime lawsuit against one of the company’s Florida franchisees. The baker’s lawsuit claims the franchisee failed to pay hourly workers for all of the time they worked and failed to pay overtime wages. The lawsuit is awaiting court approval for class certification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The lawsuit is brought on behalf of the baker and other similarly situated hourly workers who have worked at the franchisee’s Panera locations over the last three years.
The Baker’s Claim
The former senior baker, Brett Pendarvis, claims the franchise company A.M. Covelli Company Inc. not only failed to pay him overtime, they also failed to pay him for all of the time he actually worked. Pendarvis alleges that he and others similarly situated never received overtime wages. They only received straight time for the hours they worked, even if they worked more than 40 hours a week.
Additionally, Pendarvis claims the company required unpaid monthly meeting attendance and the company failed to pay him for his time traveling between stores. Pendarvis claims he worked at as many as 11 different locations in the course of his work with Panera Bread. Because traveling between stores was part of his job requirements, Panera Bread should have compensated him for his time and travel expenses, if he used a personal vehicle.
Straight Time vs. Overtime
Straight time is the regular time an employee works. Straight time is the time considered when calculating whether an employee has worked overtime; this means it does not include vacation or sick leave hours an employee may record on a timesheet. Employees are paid their regular rate for straight time work. For most nonexempt employees, they must work 40 hours a week of straight time before they receive overtime pay.
Overtime is, usually, any time worked over 40 hours a week or 80 hours in two weeks. Overtime pay is one and a half times an employee’s regular wage. An employee’s regular wage is often, but not always, their hourly rate. Depending on state labor laws, employers may use different methods in calculating overtime. For instance, some employers will pay overtime if an employee works more than 8 hours a shift, while others will only pay overtime based on the total hours worked each week. Regardless of the method used, state and federal labor law require nonexempt employees, like Pendarvis, receive time and a half for the time they work over 40 hours a week.
If you believe your employer has failed to pay proper overtime wages, contact our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers today. Complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form or call at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your situation. Our knowledgeable legal team will evaluate your case. 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.