CONWAY, Ark. – A local Sonic has to pay back more than $12,000 dollars in unpaid wages to former and current employees.
A Department of Labor investigation started at the beginning of the year after an employee constantly found errors with her pay. The Sonic is located on Harkrider Street in Conway.
“I feel like they tried to take advantage of me,” the employee explained.
She reported her concerns and turned over documentation about eight months ago.
That is when the Department of Labor did an audit that dated back two years. It was discovered that 41 employees were owed a total of $12,825.13 in back wages.
As for the employee that we spoke with, she was awarded $410.
“A lot of these young people, they don’t know the resources that are available to them. They don’t know that they can do something about it.”
The Sonic is owned by a franchisee not Sonic Corporate. So the amount owed fell on the owner. The Department of Labor said he has paid in full and the department is now working to distribute the funds to the correct employees.
Denise Oxley with the Arkansas Department of Labor encourages anyone who is an employee to pay attention.
“Monitor your pay stubs. Keep track of your hours worked. In fact, the Department of Labor has an app on the website where it is real easy to keep track of your hours,” she advises.
Sonic’s Corporate office did release the following statement regarding the missing wages.
“The SONIC franchisee who owns and operates this drive-in was made aware of a payroll discrepancy and has since worked diligently with the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing to correct the issue. Following a recent audit, the franchisee has hired a payroll company to handle payroll and avoid any future discrepancies.
The franchisee takes pride in being a good community partner, and we appreciate the trust and confidence our guests place in SONIC every day to serve them delicious food.
The SONIC brand is well received in more than 3,600 drive-ins located in 45 states across the country and remains the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than three million customers every day.”