Six current, former Jack in the Box employees file US$45M lawsuit against company, claiming it failed to pay them for breaks mandated as paid 'rest periods' by law

PORTLAND, Oregon , June 9, 2014 () – Six current or former employees of Jack in the Box restaurants have filed a $45 million lawsuit against the fast-food corporation, claiming it failed to pay them for breaks mandated as paid “rest periods” by law.

The suit, filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims that Jack in the Box required its franchises and corporate-owned stores to use timekeeping systems that cheated employees out of up to 29 minutes of pay per break.

A call to Jack and the Box corporate offices in San Diego, seeking a comment, wasn’t returned Friday.

The lawsuit contends that Jack in the Box wrongly required workers to pay for non-skid shoes and buy them from a specific manufacturer. The lawsuit claims that the corporation secretly pocketed $2 in kickbacks per pair of shoes.

Since the six employees started working at Jack in the Box, the company has pocketed more than $1 million in kickbacks, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit accuses managers of altering employee’s hours “from time to time” to avoid paying overtime or requiring employees “to work off the clock while transferring inventory from store to store, going to the bank, or performing various other tasks for their employer.”

Jack in the Box has more than 2,250 restaurants in 21 states, including Oregon.

The lawsuit was filed by Lake Oswego attorney Jon Egan. He is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, claiming the alleged violations happened to a large class of employees.

The plaintiffs are Jessica Gessele, Ashley Ortiz, Nicole Gessele, Tricia Tetrault, Christina Mauldin and Jason Diaz. All are current or former workers for Jack in the Box in Oregon.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in 2010 but was refiled this week in Multnomah County because of jurisdictional issues.

(c) 2014 Oregonian Publishing Co.

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