Former Dunkin’ Donuts workers have filed a wage theft lawsuit against a franchise owner of 16 Chicago locations, Sirajuddin Virani, and his accountant, Faisal Merchant. Virani denies the charges.

Represented by the Arise Chicago worker center and the Community Activism Law Alliance, the suit alleges that Merchant told managers to dock wages from workers to make up for shortages in the cash register, and to not pay for time worked beyond the scheduled shift. They further claim that Virani knew about the practices, which are illegal.

“Merchant instructed managers to change the clock-in and clock-out time records in the store’s computer database to make it appear as though the plaintiffs worked fewer hours than they did.”

For more, see the Chicago Tribune article: Former Dunkin’ Donuts workers sue franchisee, allege wage theft by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz.

This is why attorneys and organizers advise workers to independently track their hours. The free HourVoice smartphone app lets people do just that, and emails them a time sheet that can serve as documentation in case there’s a dispute.