This story is about the first legal case I ever worked on. It was the very beginning of my career, and while I planned on going to law school at night, little did I know that this experience was going to change my life.
San Diego – 1982
Our law firm was the attorney of record for a large pizza franchise corporation being sued by a former corporate employee who supervised all the franchises. This pizza chain encompassed over hundreds of pizza parlors all over southern California.
The pizza corporation was susceptible to some attack over the years, and they scrambled to resolve this susceptibility. Previously, they didn't have their hiring policies fully intact like companies definitely do these days. They didn't regularly perform background checks, or verify social security numbers, or verify previous employment, and there were errors in how they paid overtime.
To rectify these errors, management went through every present employee file and cleaned it up, making sure all pay and benefits were in order. If any past overtime was owed to an employee, they paid it. Background checks were done as well as making sure current employees had no ill-will feelings or problems with management.
There were at least 450 former employees who needed to be located, contacted and their time sheets gone over to correct any errors. Management was advised to try and track down as many of these former employees as possible, and resolve any issues that might expose them to future lawsuits – smart decision.
Before this project of locating past employees started, a nasty lawsuit landed on their door.