Just ask Gonzo: All work, no pay

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 13, 2006, 11:18am

Question: Last year there was a story published about a woman who worked for five years at Subway without receiving a paycheck. She sued for back wages and I was wondering if she ever got paid. Why on earth would you work a month without a paycheck, let alone five years? Thanks for the time.

Gina Slaten

Gonzo: Well, that is a good question, but unfortunately I cannot answer why she worked five years without a check. Whatever possessed her to do so will be learned Dec. 11, when Circuit Judge Don Weber presides over the trial.

In a six-count suit filed April 27, 2005 in Madison County Circuit Court, Ragini Patel claims she should have been paid $10 an hour for the work she did as manager of the store located at 1B Oakmont Center in Pontoon Beach.

She is seeking $108,000 for violation of the Wage Payment and Collection Act, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract from Hiren Patel and his corporation, Twinkle Enterprises Inc.

A full-time employee working 40 hours per week for a full year would put in 2,080 hours.

According to the suit, Ragini Patel worked at the store during two different time frames, from October 1999 through January 2001 and again from February 2001 through April 2003.

"(Ragini Patel) would not have returned to work at the store a second or third time without an understanding she would be paid," the complaint stated.

She also claims Twinkle Enterprises and Hiren Patel benefited from her labors but never paid "a dime for the benefits those defendants received."

Earl Hubbs, of the Alton law firm Wiseman, Hesi, Mormino, Hubbs, Velloff, Edmonds & Snider P.C., represents Ragini Patel.

Currently both sides are answering interrogatories and taking depositions.

Stephen Buser of Columbia represents Subway.

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