Subway enters voluntary agreement with Labor Dept.
Aug. 4, 2016
by Erica Shaffer
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Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil, Subway CEO Suzanne Greco and WHD Deputy Administrator for Program Operations Patricia Davidson sign an agreement ensuring wage and hour compliance among Subway franchisees. (photo: US Dept. of Labor)
WASHINGTON – In 2015, violations of federal minimum wage and overtime regulations amounted to more than $38 million in back wages paid to nearly 47,000 restaurant workers, according to data from the Wage and Hour Division of the US Dept. of Labor. Recently, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced an innovative partnership with Subway aimed at raising compliance with federal wage and hour laws.
The WHD and Subway, the world’s largest franchisor, have collaborated in the past: WHD representatives presented at Subway annual meetings and published articles in the company’s weekly e-newsletters, for example. The voluntary agreement expands on this partnership in several ways:
WHD plans to create training materials such as videos or online training, articles and sample materials for internal staff training. Subway agreed to provide franchisee input into the development of the training materials and to disseminate the materials, franchisees, managers and other relevant audiences.
Subway and WHD plan to share data and development technology that will help Subway franchisees comply with federal wage and hour regulations. For example, WHD will educate Subway about the agency’s enforcement data so that the company can make business decisions informed by existing and potential franchisees’ history of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations. Also, WHD and Subway will collaborate on ways to use technology to enhance compliance, such as building alerts into the payroll and scheduling platforms that Subway makes available to franchisees.
WHD and Subway will meet on a quarterly basis to share information and share ideas on ways to improve franchisee compliance with FLSA.
In a blog post, Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil wrote, “Our work with Subway breaks new ground in how we can work with the regulated community — not only with employers, but with franchisors, suppliers, retailers and others — to channel their influence to ensure that all employers along a supply chain or otherwise linked in commerce play by the rules. This agreement takes collaboration to the next level; we’re not simply stating our good intentions and agreeing that everyone has an interest in complying with the law. We’re using our limited resources to affect the most good.”