12 Taco Bell Workers In Spencer Win Double Back Pay In Wage Theft Case

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By Amie Rivers

April 18, 2023

A dozen workers at a Taco Bell restaurant in northwest Iowa will get double their back pay after the restaurant’s manager was found to have shorted their checks.

Investigators with the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division determined a Taco Bell in Spencer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it didn’t pay 12 of its workers what they were owed.

The department said the Taco Bell’s general manager “deducted time from employees’ time cards before submitting the hours to the corporate office for processing” between December 2020 and May 2022 for 12 of the restaurant’s 40 workers.

The DOL recovered $11,372 owed to those workers, and an equal amount in liquidated damages, for a total of $22,744.

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“This case shows the costly consequence of totaling hours worked incorrectly,” said Wage and Hour District Director Marietta Taylor in Des Moines. “Employers must maintain accurate records of hours worked in order to pay employees what the law requires. When they fail to do so, they often deny hard-working employees all of the wages that they are due.”

A DOL spokesperson said they couldn’t release the name of the general manager and did not investigate whether there were repercussions for their actions. However, a job posting for general manager of the Taco Bell in Spencer was posted a week before this report was made public.

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(Do you think you’re not getting paid properly? Find out how to file a complaint here.)


by Amie Rivers

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  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

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