SUBWAY Restaurants “Eat Fresh!” slogan may need to be changed to “Pay Right.” This week the U.S. DOL - Wage and Hour Division announced it is partnering with the national SUBWAY headquarters for the purpose of increasing compliance with federal labor laws at SUBWAY franchises throughout the country. This is a voluntary action by SUBWAY headquarters, and is not tied to any claims. SUBWAY headquarters has indicated they are committed to assisting the Wage and Hour division in educating franchisees on wage and hour laws, and are taking a proactive approach to assist their goal:
(1) By placing a link to the Wage & Hour Division’s website on their intranet site for restaurant owners to use for reference purposes;
(2) By inviting Wage and Hour division staff to present at its annual meetings; and
(3) Publishing articles outlining federal minimum wage and overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act in its weekly electronic newsletters.
This is a good business practice by SUBWAY, because employers found in violation of the FLSA can be subject to claims for back wages, damages, and penalties. Other national franchisors should take a hint from SUBWAY, and contact the Wage and Hour Division to ask for assistance in training their franchisees on federal labor laws. Being proactive can save time and money in the long run.