HEY BIG COMPANY: Are Your Management Trainees Bristling At Being Salaried Employees?
July 15, 2015
Ah yes... The time honored tradition of the management trainee position. You know it, you love it. You recognize the value.
But are you legal when it comes to classifying those trainees as exempt?
Sigh - I know.
Someday my boys are going to grow up and they may land in a management training program right out of school. If they even so much as give a peep about not getting comped appropriately for the work they're doing as grunts, you know I'm going to tell them ST_U and do the job. Because you and I know that's the way the world works.
They have access to a program. The best way to get ahead is to work hard and get promoted 5 times before you're 30. That's what the ballers do.
Of course, most of your management trainees aren't ballers -and that's where most of the lawsuits about management trainees not getting hourly pay get started. Burger King recently experienced this with their class of Management Trainees - More from the always sexy TopClassActions.com:
"According to allegations in a recently filed overtime pay class action lawsuit brought by a former employee, Burger King Corp. misclassified its operations coaches and trainees as exempt employees in order to stiff them of overtime pay, saving the fast-food chain millions of dollars.
By classifying the coaches and trainees as exempt employees with no supervisory or administrative responsibilities, whose jobs consisted of performing “menial laborious tasks, including, operating cash registers, cleaning bathrooms, greeting and serving customers, and cooking food,” Burger King intentionally and repeatedly violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the unpaid overtime class action lawsuit filed by plaintiff Ronald R."
Dunn kids - don't ever do complain about this. I'm serious. I'll hunt you down - maybe even take back the Toyota I did you a solid by giving you. But I digress - here's more:
“This was done so the Defendant would not have to pay their employees overtime while they were waiting for positions to open up, as Defendant continually hired for this position where the supply far exceeded the available positions,” according to wage and hour class action lawsuit.
“Due to high turnover, Defendant filled these spots like the NFL keeps a practice squad, waiting until someone quit or was fired, but in the interim working many hours in restaurants performing non-exempt duties without being compensated for overtime hours worked. This decision was made at the highest corporate level, was wrong, and the actors knew it,” the class action lawsuit states.
“The policy saves millions of dollars in labor costs,” according to unpaid overtime class action lawsuit.
New hires in Burger King’s corporate leadership development program, who would eventually become coaches and managers, had to work at least four days a week, up to 13 hours a day, cooking hamburgers and French fries and cleaning restrooms, the class action lawsuit alleges. Once in management, the trainees would be expected to know how every aspect of the restaurant is run so that they can train other workers. But the overtime pay lawsuit maintains that overtime is mandated during the training program, during which “reasonable lunch breaks” are denied.
According to the unpaid overtime class action lawsuit, Ronald spent five months in the trainee program, where he regularly worked 60-hour work weeks. Even after he was promoted to a sales, profit and operations coach, Ronald claims that he never supervised two or more full-time employees, the threshold needed to satisfy the executive exemption.
The overtime pay class action lawsuit, filed in a Florida federal court, seeks to represent a nationwide Class of Burger King employees who in the past three years have been classified as trainees in the leadership program and/or who have worked as a sales, profit and training coach in one of Burger King’s more than 10,000 restaurants across the country.
There are some 1,500 employees who may qualify to be part of the Class, the wage and hour class action lawsuit states. Burger King is headquartered in Miami."
Bonus points by the NFL practice squad reference. BTW, lunch is when the business you joined makes money. But I continue to digress - you're no baller. Get prepared for a life in the trenches, my class action suit friends.