Subway Leads Fast Food Industry in Underpaying Workers

When it comes to underpaying their employees, Subway takes first place in the food industry. Individual Subway franchises have been found in violation of pay and hour rules in more than 1,100 investigations ranging from 2000 to 2013, according to CNNMoney.

These cases found that about 17,000 Fair Labor Standards Act violations resulted in franchisees having to reimburse Subway workers more than $3.8 million over the years.

The most frequent violators in the food industry are Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s. 

The Department of Labor partnered with Subway’s headquarters to boost compliance efforts last year. “It’s no coincidence that we approached Subway because we saw a significant number of violations,” a Department of Labor spokesperson said.

The fast food franchise model provides a layer of protection for Subway, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Even though fast food locations may look the same and restaurants abide by similar branding and business guidelines, each franchise owner is treated essentially as a small business. Therefore, the corporate parents can have nothing to do with being liable for labor violations.

Wage violations are common. A study conducted in 2009 found that about 18% of restaurants and hotel workers face minimum wage violations. 70% face overtime violations and 74% encounter what are known as “off-the-clock” violations, where workers are expected to do tasks without being paid.

In addition to the Department of Labor’s investigations, there has also been a rise in private lawsuits related to wage and hour complaints. Lawsuits related to FLSA violations reached a record high in 2013, according to law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

Read more on this article.


Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP