Some employees in the United States have been introduced to what is being called an alternative workweek. The idea is that employees work longer days for a shorter workweek. In California, for example, the Labor Code recognizes an alternative workweek in which employees work ten hours a day for four days, as long as the workweek includes a regular schedule. If this is the agreed upon schedule, the employer does not need to pay overtime for each hour worked in excess of eight hours in a day. However, for each hour worked over ten hours a day, the employer is required to pay their workers the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate up to twelve hours in a day. This includes overtime pay for each day the employee works outside of their regular schedule. For each hour worked over twelve hours in a day, the labor law requires that the employee be paid double their normal hourly pay.
However, even on an alternative work schedule, the labor laws regulating meal and rest breaks remain relevant. According to California labor law, for every four hours an employee works, the employer is required to provide an uninterrupted 10-minute rest break. For every five hours worked, the employee is entitled to an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break. This means that, if an employee works a 10-hour day, they should be receiving two meal breaks a day.
A class action of mechanics working for Schneider National Inc. alleges that, at their place of employment, these laws were not abided by. According to the lawsuit, the mechanics worked on an alternative schedule in which they regularly worked 11-hour shifts four days a week. However, they allegedly did not receive the proper overtime pay and were denied their mandatory rest and meal breaks. In addition, Schneider National allegedly “wrote off overtime hours actually reported by employees in excess of their scheduled shifts”. The complaint further alleges that Schneider National failed to pay terminated employees their full wages and failed to maintain accurate wage statements.
Tampering with employee time sheets is a very serious allegation. In certain courts, it is all a plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant knowingly and intentionally violated the law. Had this case made it to the courts, Schneider National could have found itself stuck with a very hefty tab. No doubt that played a role in its decision to settle the case.
The lawsuit alleges that, “Defendants knowingly and intentionally adopted unlawful and unfair policies and practices that: (i) required Plaintiffs and AWS Sub-Class members to work an alternative workweek schedule without complying with the strict requirements of the California Labor Code (and corresponding IWC Wage Orders) and/or without paying all daily overtime compensation due”.
The settlement amount which has been agreed upon reaches approximately $3.5 million. It will affect about 200 mechanics, which means that each member of the class will receive somewhere between $9,000 and $10,000 of the settlement money. The rest will go towards employer payroll taxes, attorneys’ fees, and litigation expenses. The company has not admitted to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating potential unpaid overtime claims against large corporations and manufacturers such as Schneider National, Federal Express and other corporations for for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, failing to pay for breaks, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, 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 Illinois overtime attorneys 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 Orland Park and La Grange. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Elmhurst and Glenview 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 class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.