GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit against the operator and owner of four western Michigan 7-Eleven convenience stores after an investigation found payroll records were inaccurate, paid employees “off the books” and failed to pay them overtime.Filed on Sept. 29, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids, the suit seeks to recover $36,528 in back wages and damages for 13 workers employed by Ali & Companies LLC and its owner, Ali Haider, at two stores in East Lansing, one in Perry and one in Zeeland.Haider serves as president of the Michigan Franchise Owners Association of 7-Eleven. An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined the Okemos-based company and its owner did not pay workers overtime at time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours over 40 in a workweek from at least Nov. 17, 2020 through Nov. 16, 2022. Instead, Ali & Companies and Haider paid some workers off the books. The division also learned the employer failed to maintain accurate records of employee hours worked and pay received, all violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. “Many would expect a business owner who leads an association of franchise owners to be well-versed in federal wage laws. It seems hard to believe that someone appointed president of a group created to share best business and management practices would violate the law so willingly,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Mary O’Rourke in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “The Department of Labor will take all available actions to make sure the people employed by Ali & Companies and Ali Haider are paid their full and legally earned wages and hold the employer accountable for their violations.” Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division and how to file an online complaint. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – also available in Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.United States Department of Labor v. Ali & Companies LLC, Ali HaiderCase number 1:23-cv-01033

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