A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Chicago accuses the owner of 16 area Dunkin' Donuts franchises of altering time cards so they could avoid paying overtime. The lawsuit also said ownership docked employee paychecks to cover cash register shortages. The attorney on the plaintiffs' side is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, hoping 100 additional plaintiffs —who have worked for the franchise over the last decade— will join.
The plaintiffs haven't listed a dollar amount for wages lost or how much lawyers will seek in damages. One of the plaintiffs was earning $10.25 per hour before she quit, the Tribune reported. The owner of the franchises, Sirajuddin Virani, denied any wrongdoing while talking with the Tribune. An additional defendant is listed. Faisal Merchant handles payroll for Virani. Dunkin' Donuts corporate isn't listed as a defendant.
The lawsuit lists two plaintiffs. Shift supervisor Christina Padilla worked at three Dunkin' Donuts franchises. Jessica Zamudio worked at another franchise owned by Virani. The lawsuit accuses Merchant of making frequent deductions to wages, listing them on paychecks as "cash advance repayments." The state law requires written consent from employees, which Merchant didn't have, and Virani still allowed the practice, the lawsuit said.