January 14, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – The fast-food chain headed by Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder refused to give workers back pay for minimum-wage violations in 2014, according to records of a departmental investigation obtained by the Center for American Progress.
It found that the Hardee’s burger chain paid workers with Visa debit cards instead of checks, and that the fees charged on those cards reduced their net pay to less than $7.25 an hour. A group of Hardee’s workers in Alabama were told they could avoid the fees, which included a $1.95 charge for withdrawing money from an out-of-network ATM, by using the cards at Kangaroo gas stations. The Labor Department ordered the company to pay $2,071.98 to the affected workers, but an investigator wrote that a human resources manager had objected to that “because they have 500 stores and this would mean changing the payroll practices of the company.” The Huffington Post was unable to find out from the Labor Department whether Hardee’s has paid the back wages, and CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., did not respond to questions. Senate hearings on whether to confirm Puzder have been postponed until February. Read more