The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a law governing all employers working within the United States. It provides a minimum wage that must be paid to all hourly employees and provides guidelines for overtime and the types of employees that can be exempted from overtime compensation, among other things. While each state has their own labor laws, which apply to employers conducting business within the state, the FLSA is a national law which applies to everyone in the country.
Because of the differences that exist between state and federal laws, it is common for employees who file wage and hour lawsuits against their employers to file claims under both the FLSA and the state laws. For example, a class of employees working for Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd., the luxury skin care product company, filed a wage and hour lawsuit against the company for allegedly failing to provide the employees with meal and rest breaks.
Under California labor law, employers are required to provide all of their hourly workers with a paid rest break lasting at least 10 minutes for every four hours worked. For every five hours that the employee works, the law states that an unpaid meal break of at least half an hour must be provided. For each day that one of these breaks is not taken, the sate law mandates that the employee must be paid one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to the wages earned for the time spent working that day.
According to the recent class action wage and hour lawsuit, Crabtree & Evelyn allegedly did not provide its California employees with these legally required breaks. Instead, the company allegedly manipulated pay stubs to make it look as though the breaks had been taken, even when they had not. Managers at Crabtree & Evelyn were allegedly instructed to sign false time cards which showed that the employees had taken their breaks, regardless of whether or not the breaks had actually been taken.
The class action lawsuit is filing a claim under the FLSA, alleging that the company’s failure to provide employees with these breaks resulted in the employees working overtime, without receiving the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times the employees’ normal hourly wages.
The FLSA also requires employers to provide all of their workers with accurate, detailed wage statements, specifying all hours that the employee worked, all wages earned, and any deductions made from the employee’s pay, such as taxes and health insurance. If the plaintiffs can prove that Crabtree & Evelyn failed to provide them with accurate wage statements, then they can claim that the company knowingly and intentionally violated the relevant labor law. Such proof, in some courts, can lead to judges imposing harsher punishments on the defendant.
The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and is seeking a jury trial for compensation for unpaid wages and attorneys’ fees. In accordance with California law, the lead plaintiffs, Irina Eremina, Fernando Hernandez, and Lillian Zamora first filed their grievance with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. After 33 days had passed and the agency had not yet responded, the plaintiffs were free to file the lawsuit themselves.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Crabtree & Evelyn, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart 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 (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.