For one New Jersey worker, tacos were his life…literally. The male worker was employed as a driver, cook and cashier in a Taco Truck mobile facility. The man was paid a salary that averaged out to approximately $615 per week. To earn that $615, the man said that he worked around 70 to 80 hours over six days per week. Sometimes, his schedule forced him to sleep in the truck.
Those details were contained in a complaint recently filed against the company alleging violations of both the New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the lawsuit, a straight salary didn’t cut it in this case. Under these working conditions, the employee should have been paid overtime wages, noted the complaint.
The worker also claims that he was later wrongfully terminated from the company.
In this case, the employee does not believe his situation to be an isolated incident, but instead believes that other employees may have been treated in the same manner. A proposal for a collective action has been filed as well. In this case, other employees will have to either opt-in or opt-out of any class action. Those that opt-in will be bound by the result of the lawsuit and barred from filing their own separate claim.
The company has until Dec. 23 to file an answer in court in response to the complaint. Although the formal answer has not been filed, the company has released statements to the public contradicting the claims made by the former employee. Taco Truck also said that the employee was let go for company policy violations.
Source: NJ.com, “Taco hell: Lawsuit against food truck claims employee was overworked without pay,” Kathryn Brenzel, Dec. 9, 2013