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Wage and Hour Lawsuit Filed Against California Temp Agency

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is very strict about requiring employers to provide workers with full, itemized, accurate wage statements. These statements must include all hours worked by the employee, the hourly pay rate, and any deductions made from the employee’s pay (such as taxes, health insurance, social security, etc.). Part of the reason for this requirement is to make sure employers are abiding by other rules laid out in the federal act, including minimum wage and overtime regulations.

In addition to the federal FLSA, most states have their own labor laws regulating employers working within the state. Like the FLSA, these local labor laws also tend to require employers to pay a certain minimum wage, abide by overtime regulations, and provide accurate, itemized wage statements. California is one of the states with the most rigorous labor regulations. 

A wage and hour class action lawsuit has recently been filed against a temp agency in California, alleging the company violated California labor code by failing to provide accurate, itemized pay stubs to employees that lay out the time frame for each pay period and when the employee worked within that time period. According to the lawsuit, the result of this failure is that employees cannot possibly track their pay stubs against calendar dates to determine what days and times they worked.

The lawsuit was filed by Tamara L. Bengel against Career Strategies Temporary Inc. (CST). The staffing company is based in Burbank, but maintains satellite offices in seven states. CST provides direct-hire and temporary staffing services to businesses and corporations throughout the United States.

Bengel is seeking to represent a class of similarly situated employees that could number as high as 1,000 workers employed by CST in the state of California between November 1, 2013 and the filing of the lawsuit. She is seeking civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) of California, as well as statutory penalties and attorneys’ fees and costs. Under California law, if an employer knowingly and intentionally fails to provide an accurate, itemized a wage statement, an employee can recover either actual damages, or statutory fines of $50 for the first violation and $100 for each subsequent violation up to $4,000, whichever is greater. 

Bengel claims to have first reported the alleged violations to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency about six weeks before she filed the class action lawsuit.

The complaint for the wage and hour lawsuit states that “Plaintiff and each class member suffered and suffer injuries as a result of the missing pay period because a reasonable person could not promptly, and easily determine the pay period from the wage statement alone without reference to other documents or information.”

Because Bengel worked as a temporary employee for CST, she has stated that it is possible for other companies could be included as defendants in the lawsuit. Those companies include companies that Bengel and other employees performed work for on behalf of CST, provided the plaintiffs can find sufficient evidence that those companies participated with CST in violating California labor law. CST denies all of Bengel’s claims.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against temporary labor or employment agencies or “temp agencies” for  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.