The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects all employees working in the United States by providing things like a mandatory minimum wage as well as overtime regulations. Under the FLSA, all non-exempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly wages for all the time they spend working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.
In addition to the FLSA, each state has its own laws to regulate the employees that work within the boundaries of the state. State labor laws have their own minimum wage, which can be higher or lower than the FLSA’s minimum wage (employers must pay the higher of the two minimum wages). They also provide their own definitions of overtime, double time, and some even require mandatory breaks for employees.
California is one state that requires its employers to provide all their hourly workers with regular breaks throughout the day. For every four hours an employee works, she is entitled to one paid, uninterrupted rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours worked, employees are entitled to one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break of at least half an hour. For every day an employee misses one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of pay, in addition to all wages and bonuses earned that day.
Chalissa J. recently filed a class action lawsuit against her former employer, Hertz Corporation, for allegedly failing to provide her with these legally mandated breaks.
Johnson worked for Hertz in Moreno Valley, California for six months. In that time, she alleges she was required to clock out for her breaks, but was made to work through those breaks to help customers. Because she was improperly clocked out, Johnson allegedly never received the additional compensation the law requires for missed breaks.
Johnson, a single mother, said that, when she took the job, she thought it would be a better opportunity for her and her daughter, who has special needs. Instead, she was allegedly required to work through her breaks and after the end of her shift, even though she had been clocked out and was not paid for the extra time she spent working. Johnson said these conditions were unacceptable for her and her family and led to her leaving her position at Hertz after six months.
According to the class action lawsuit, Hertz allegedly maintains small branches with a small staff of employees who were allegedly required to maintain supervision over large rental fleets and an equally large customer base. The unpaid wages class action lawsuit alleges these work conditions made it impossible for workers to take their breaks and keep up with their workload.
If the lawsuit manages to achieve class certification, the class could consist of at least 150 employees who worked for Hertz in the Los Angeles area during the relevant class period. But an attorney familiar with the case said it has the potential for farther-reaching consequences and could apply to hundreds of other employees working in neighboring counties.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against rental car companies such as Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Thrifty and Dollar as well as large retail chains such as Petsmart, Officemax, Staples, Smart & Final, Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Marshalls, TJ Max, Victoria’s Secret, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Home Depot, HomeGoods, Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart, Costco, PetSmart, REI and other retail chains for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, failing to pay for time spent on security checks, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at one of our offices near Evanston and Joliet at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.