Panera Accused of Cheating Assistant Managers out of Overtime
Panera’s largest franchise is being sued by a group of Assistant Managers for allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay them the proper overtime required by law.
According to the complaint, Covelli Enterprises misclassified its Assistant Mangers as exempt and deprived them of overtime wages when they worked more than 40 hours a week. Attorneys for the employees argue that despite their managerial title, the workers were not true managers and did not excise management authority. The assistant managers allege that they were required to routinely perform non-managerial duties, including taking customer orders, serving customers, preparing food, working the cash register, checking inventory and cleaning the restaurant.
Chelsea Romano, the Assistant Manager who initiated the suit, worked approximately 50-55 hours per week, but was not paid the proper overtime wage of time and a half for the 10-15 hours that she worked in excess of 40 hours per week. She claims that other employees had similar job duties and were subject to Panera’s common compensation practices of being misclassified as Assistant Managers and working similar hours without receiving proper overtime pay compensation. Romano further alleges that Panera failed to keep accurate records of the hours she and the members of the collective worked.
Covelli Enterprises, operates more than 260 Panera Bread bakery’ cafes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky Florida, And Ontario.
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