Illinois Appellate Court Rules that Subway Employee Working for Family Friend Is Entitled to Wages
The Illinois Court of Appeals has held that a woman who worked without pay in a Subway sandwich shop owned by a family friend and managed by her husband must be compensated.
A few weeks after starting work, Ragini Patel alleged that she asked her husband Nitin, both recent immigrants from India, about receiving a paycheck. He assured Ragini that the owner and family friend, Hiren Patel, would “take care of it.” When she continued to receive no paycheck, Ragini allegedly inquired several more times and received the same response from Nitin. He also allegedly forbade Ragini to approach the issue of pay with Hiren “consistent with their customs.” Ragini eventually filed suit.
At trial, Nitin alleged that Hiren included Ragini’s pay in Nitin’s paycheck, which Nitin immediately endorsed back to Hiren for management of the family’s expenses. Hiren denied knowledge of any agreement between Ragini and Nitin, but admitted he issued no paychecks to Ragini during the course of her employment at his Subway.
Illinois Court of Appeals rejected both arguments and found that Ragini deserved compensation for her labor under the doctrine of promissory estoppel and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. California provides similar avenues for recovery of unpaid wages.
If you feel you have not been fully compensated for your labor, unused vacation time, unreimbursed expenses or otherwise, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.