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Extended Stay Franchisee Settles Class Action Overtime Claim

When an employee quits her job or is fired from her position, her employer is required to pay her all the wages she earned up until the termination of her employment, including any paid time off she may have accrued while working for that employer. According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit, Extended Stay America (ESA Management LLC) allegedly failed to provide its employees with all the wages they had earned, including compensation for their unused paid time off when their employment was terminated.

The wage and hour lawsuit was filed in California, so it has filed for claims under California labor law. In addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which defines overtime and minimum wage for all employees working throughout the country, each state and city has their own labor laws to protect the employees working there. As a result, every company conducting business in the United States has to be sure to abide by all relevant local laws, as well as federal labor laws.

California labor law requires employers to pay their workers all their wages in full within 72 hours of termination of employment. If the employee provides at least 72 hours notice of termination, then all wages are due upon termination. According to the current class action lawsuit against ESA Management LLC, the hotel management company allegedly failed to follow this law and did not provide all employees with their full wages upon termination, and also failed to compensate them for their earned, unused paid time off.

Additionally, California labor law requires employers to provide hourly, nonexempt 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 of work, she is entitled to one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break lasting at least half an hour. For every day an employee misses one of these breaks, or a break is interrupted, for any reason, the employee is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages, bonuses, and tips earned that day. The class action lawsuit against ESA alleges employees were not always allowed to take these breaks and were not properly compensated for their missed breaks.

The class action wage and hour lawsuit was filed by Nelson R. Rivas who used to work as an hourly maintenance employee at one of Extended Stay America’s locations in California. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all similarly situated hourly nonexempt employees who worked for ESA or its predecessor, HVM LLC in the state of California any time between June 18, 2010 and October 6, 2015.

ESA continues to deny having done anything illegal, but it has agreed to settle the class action lawsuit for $600,000 in order to avoid the hassle and expense of continuing to pursue the legal dispute in the courts. The total amount that will be paid to each class member will depend on several factors, including the number of members who file a claim, how many hours they worked within the class period, and whether they worked full time or part time. The class action settlement has already received preliminary approval from a court judge.

The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Extended Stay America, Staybridge Suites, Best Western, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Applebees, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Midlothian and Blue Island. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Mokena and Frankfurt overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.