This page provides up-to-date information and links to important documents regarding the lawsuit filed by Assistant Managers against Charter Foods and related entities for failure to pay overtime compensation between January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2020 (when Assistant Managers were re-classified as non-exempt and eligible to receive overtime). Charter Foods owns and operates more than 300 “Taco Bell,” “KFC,” “Pizza Hut,” “Long John Silver’s,” and “A&W” restaurants in 12 states. The lawsuit alleges that Assistant Managers routinely worked more than 40 hours a week in order to perform their job duties but were improperly denied overtime compensation, even though they performed the same job duties as their hourly-paid colleagues. The lawsuit asserts claims under federal and Pennsylvania law. A copy of the legal paperwork describing the claims can be found here and media coverage can be found here.
The lawsuit alleges that Assistant Managers spent the majority of their time serving customers, preparing food, working the drive-thru, counting inventory, unloading trucks, and cleaning the restaurant. It alleges that Charter Foods had a policy, pattern, and/or practice of misclassifying Assistant Managers as exempt from overtime. On June 23, 2021, the judge overseeing the case granted Plaintiff’s request to conditionally certify her federal claim and, in response to receiving notice of the lawsuit, more than 430 current and former Assistant Managers joined (or “opted-in” to) the case.
The parties are currently in the “discovery” phase and are exchanging documents and information relating to either side’s claims and defenses. Many tens of thousands of documents have been produced, including thousands of e-mails and text messages. Approximately 35 individuals (called “opt-ins”) were selected to participate in the process. Most have completed a deposition – a question and answer session with Charter’s attorneys – and Plaintiff’s counsel has deposed a number of Charter’s managers and representatives, including its majority owner. Discovery will end in March 2023, at which time the judge will be asked to rule on a number of substantive issues. Chief among these will be whether Assistant Managers can proceed to trial collectively on their claims for unpaid overtime.