There are a number of benefits to class actions. They allow plaintiffs with small claims to get redress for their grievances, while at the same time holding large corporations accountable for misdemeanors that may be minor, but affect a lot of people. Class actions also save time for the courts by allowing them to consolidate many similar claims into one large case. A recent example of this is two class action wage and hour lawsuits that were filed against Vallarta Supermarket in the state of California, which the courts combined into one large class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges Vallarta has failed to pay its employees for all time worked, including overtime. According to the lawsuit, employees were allegedly regularly required to work off the clock before their shifts began, after their shifts had ended, and during breaks, which they have a right to take under California labor law.
In addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which regulates wage and hour practices throughout the United States, each state also has their own labor laws that govern employers and employees working in that state. California, for example, requires employers to provide all hourly workers with a paid rest break for every four hours worked. For every five hours worked, employees are entitled to an unpaid lunch break lasting at least half an hour. For every day that an employee does not take one of these breaks, for any reason, that employee is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day.
The recent class action wage and hour lawsuit alleges Vallarta Supermarket failed to provide all of its workers with these breaks. Rather than paying employees the additional hour’s worth of wages for each day that a break was missed, Vallarta allegedly required employees to miss their breaks without any compensation. Vallarta denies all of the claims in the lawsuits.
Under the federal FLSA, any time an hourly employee is required to work more than eight hours a day or forty hours a week, that employee is entitled to one and one-half times her normal rate of pay for all overtime worked. According to the recent wage and hour lawsuit, Vallarta allegedly failed to provide its employees with the proper overtime compensation in the event that they worked more than eighty hours a day or forty hours a week. Because employees were allegedly required to work off the clock on a regular basis, Vallarta allegedly failed to pay them even straight time for all of the time they spent working.
Although the wages that each employee was allegedly cheated out of may have been small, the amount of money Vallarta allegedly saved by allegedly violating various labor laws adds up quickly. Vallarta has recently agreed to settle the lawsuit for $1.5 million. The settlement covers about 15,000 employees who worked in over 40 Vallarta Supermarket locations throughout Southern California and Central California. The lawsuit has been approved by a California court judge, which means that class members can expect to see their share of the settlement soon. Vallarta insists that it settled to avoid the risk of litigation but not because it violated wage laws.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Marshalls, TJ Max, Jewel, Aldi, Marianos, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, 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.