Former employee sues McDonald's for unlawful retaliation

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 8, 2015

ELKINS – A former employee is suing McDonald's Corporation after he claims he was unlawfully retaliated against.

McDonald's Restaurants of West Virginia Inc. and George Arthur were also named as defendants in the suit.

Timothy A. Hiett was hired by the defendants in July 2012 to work at its Berkeley Springs restaurant and in July 2013, he was transferred to the Inwood location, where he had exemplary performance and received two promotions within one year, according to a complaint filed March 19 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of West Virginia.

Hiett claims in June, he asked Arthur to temporarily return to the Berkeley Springs restaurant for the summer to assist while a manager was on sabbatical.

In July, Hiett became aware of the defendants' practice for not paying overtime wages to their employees  and using a number of unlawful manipulations of the records of hours worked by the defendants' employees at the Berkeley Springs restaurant to avoid paying overtime, according to the suit.

Hiett claims the defendants would record work hours from one work week in the next work week in order that payroll records would inaccurately reflect 40 work hours or less by an employee in a work week in which the employee actually worked more than 40 hours.

The defendants would attribute overtime hours worked by an employee to the hours worked by another employee who was a relative, according to the suit.

Hiett claims upon his discovery of the unlawful practices regarding the payment of overtime wages at the Berkeley Springs restaurant, he reported the unlawful practices of David Corbin, the general manager of the Inwood restaurant and Corbin advised him to tell Arthur about the unlawful practices regarding the payment of wages at the Berkeley Springs restaurant.

On July 12, Hiett telephoned Arthur and told him about the unlawful practices regarding the payment of overtime wages and Arthur informed Hiett that he would address the unlawful practices, according to the suit.

Hiett claims on Aug. 14, he again reported the unlawful overtime practices to Arthur and Arthur instructed the plaintiff to determine what employees were denied overtime wages and to let him know.

After speaking with Arthur, Hiett spoke with Janet Watson, Amelia Smith, Dabney Droppe and Melissa Kuser regarding the unlawful overtime practices and on Aug. 19, Hiett reported the results of his investigation to Arthur at a district meeting in Rockville, Md., according to the suit.

On Aug. 21, Hiett attended a meeting with Arthur and Karen Flanigan, a human resources employee of the defendants and at the meeting, he provided Arthur and Flanigan the information he had regarding the unlawful overtime practices, according to the suit.

Hiett claims that evening he was informed that he was being placed on administrative leave and on Aug. 29, he was informed that his employment was terminated.

The defendants unlawfully retaliated again Hiett and violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the suit.

Hiett is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Mark Goldner and Maria W. Hughes at Hughes & Goldner PLLC.

The case is assigned to District Judge Gina M. Groh.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-00029

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