Investigations and lawsuits against gas station owners have significantly increased over the past several years in the wake of pervasive “wage theft” complaints by workers such as station attendants, cashiers and clerks about not being paid their rightfully hard-earned wages. Typically, these complaints concern the gas station workers’ violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state wage and hour laws for failing to pay minimum and/or overtime wages as well as failing to maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Common allegations among the filed complaints by gas station workers include, but are not limited to, the following:
- being paid an hourly rate (usually minimum wage or a little over minimum wage) but only receiving pay for partial hours of work due to time records being tampered with [ time-shaving violation]
- being paid an hourly rate but only receiving pay for partial hours of work due to the requirements to perform work-related activities before the shift begins (pre-shift), to clock out during the shift when it is “business downtime,” to clock out for lunch break while continuing to work, and/or to continue performing work-related activities after the shift ends (post-shift) [off-the-clock violation]
- being paid an hourly rate and not receiving overtime premium (additional half-time rate) for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek, regardless of whether the worker is assigned to work at 1 or more locations or received separate paystubs from separate entities [straight time for overtime violation]
- being paid at a fixed rate on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for whatever hours of work without regard to minimum wage and overtime requirements [misclassification violation]
The FLSA requires that covered, non-exempt workers be paid at lease the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hours for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Some states have established minimum wage rates that differ from the federal minimum wage. Where federal and state laws require different wage rates, the higher standard applies. Employees must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Any workers at gas station such as Chevron Corporation, Citgo, Exxon, Mobil, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco, etc. who have any questions or concerns about whether they were/are properly compensated are urged to consult attorneys specializing in wage and hour laws such as Wage Authority Group (WAG) about their rights.