Sometimes workers are required to perform certain tasks before and after their work actually ends and it is important that employees are compensated for all time spent at their place of employment. This blog has discussed a few of those tasks, such as time spent putting on and taking off protective clothing and time spent waiting in line to have bags checked before leaving work. Now a new case has arisen in California involving Quetico LLC, a Chino-based warehouse and distribution firm and their time clocks.
Allegedly, Quetico’s two warehouses only have three time clocks for more than 800 employees, leading to long lines for employees to clock in and out of work. As a result, employees were allegedly forced to arrive to work earlier and earlier in order to avoid clocking in late. It also meant that they had to stay at work after hours in order to clock out. According to California Labor Law, any time spent at work over and above the standard work week is considered overtime and (unless the employee is overtime exempt) is required to be paid at the standard overtime rate. Any employee who complained about the unpaid overtime was allegedly issued a disciplinary memo by Quetico. Three employees who filed complaints with the Office of the Labor Commissioner were allegedly suspended from their jobs.
In addition to the time spent in line before and after work, the lines at the time clock also became an issue for employee lunch breaks. The employees were allotted a 30-minute meal break per shift for which they were required to clock in and out but employees often had to cut their meal breaks short as a result of the long lines. This is in violation of the California Labor Laws, which require that employees are provided at least a 30-minute meal break. Allegedly, Quetico altered the time sheets to make it appear that the employees had received the full benefit of the 30-minute break.
The California Labor Commissioner, Julie Su, has issued a series of California labor code citations against Quetico, totaling more than $1 million. It is unclear whether the citations came about as a result of a lawsuit or an investigation. Either way, the investigation undertaken by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement found that employees were coming in early and staying late in order to deal with the long lines and that they were not being paid for that extra time.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large corporations and retailers such as Hewlett-Packard, Wal-Mart for misclassifying employees as managers, forcing employees to work off the clock, altering time sheets and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Wheaton and Naperville. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Schaumburg and Lisle 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 misclassify 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 not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago wage and hour attorney by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.