Chick-fil-A fans may dream of free food from the coveted chain, but for employees at a North Carolina location, it seems free meals were all they got.
The Department of Labor has hit a Hendersonville, North Carolina Chick-fil-A with fines for paying off employees who served as drive-thru traffic controllers with meal vouchers instead of traditional pay.
The restaurant was ordered to pay back $235 each to seven employees, bringing the total amount owed to $1,645.
The report says denying workers the minimum wage is a direct violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Eagle-eyed social media users caught the restaurant asking for “volunteers” to come direct traffic in exchange for five free meals per shift on their Facebook page in a now-deleted post that has been screened and shared on Twitter.
Hi @ChickfilA can you explain why you allow a franchisee to hire unpaid positions? This is not acceptable. #chicken fila #labor unions pic.twitter.com/mR3RUOBRML
— Elon Musk (@Bona_Bones) July 27, 2022
“This is a volunteer-based opportunity, meaning people can choose to volunteer if they feel it would be a good fit for them,” the restaurant said. clarified in a screenshot response to angry commentators claiming it was an employment law violation. “We’ve had multiple people sign up and like doing it and have done it multiple times.”
The Department of Labor report also alleges that the restaurant allowed three employees under the age of 18 to operate a trash compactor, violating child labor laws that prohibit minors from performing hazardous work.
“Protecting our youngest employees remains a top priority for the wages and hours division,” Richard Blaylock, district director of the wages and hours division in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in a statement from the Department of Labor. release. “Child labor laws ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. In addition, employers are responsible to pay employees for all hours worked and payment must be in cash or legal tender.”
According to Pay rate, Chick-fil-A workers earn an average of $12.51 per hour, ranging from $8.77 to $19.44 per hour. The average wage for an employee at the North Carolina company is $13.53.
australiabusinessblog.com has contacted Chick-fil-A for further comment.