The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and various state laws exist to protect workers from employers who might be tempted to take advantage of them. These laws are responsible for governing things like the minimum wages employees can be paid, which employees should be paid overtime, and under what conditions overtime should be paid, among other things. State and federal labor laws are also responsible for making sure disabled employees are treated fairly.
Mariko M., a former employee for Adobe Systems Inc., alleges the software company failed to pay her overtime in the nearly four years she worked there. She further alleges it failed to provide reasonable accommodation and discriminated against her when she became physically disabled.
Mariko began working for Adobe in California in January 2011. In June 2014 she was involved in a motorcycle accident that injured her knee, leg, and clavicle. After that, Mariko was allegedly considered physically disabled because she was limited in her abilities to walk, stand, and bend her leg.
After her accident, Mariko alleges her supervisor told her she could work from home until she was rehabilitated to the point where she could make it in to the office. Two weeks later, Mariko was allegedly informed that she was not a satisfactory employee based on comments made from some of her co-workers. Mariko alleges this was in spite of the fact she had received positive formal and informal reviews during her employment at Adobe.
In early October, Mariko alleges the company gave her a Corrective Action Plan, which allegedly required her to meet “exceptionally high standards within the following 30 days”. If she failed to meet these standards, she allegedly risked facing further corrective action or termination. Mariko alleges the Corrective Action Plan was the first notice she received in writing that her performance was less than satisfactory. Along with the Corrective Action Plan, Adobe allegedly refused to permit Mariko to work from home any longer.
Mariko’s requests to transfer to another position were allegedly denied. Instead, the company offered her a “Transition Package” that would allow her to resign and continue to be paid a salary and COBRA benefits for a certain period of time. Mariko accepted the Transition Package. Her last day of work was October 17, 2014 but under the terms of the package, she would be considered an employee until November 15, 2014.
When Mariko received the Transition Package, it allegedly contained a release and waiver, which she alleges had not been conveyed to her before that point. When she refused to sign them, Adobe allegedly denied her insurance coverage.
The lawsuit also alleges that, during the almost four years Mariko worked for Adobe, she was misclassified as exempt from overtime. Under the federal FLSA, all hourly and some salaried employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Certain employees who are paid a salary can be considered exempt from overtime mandates, but they must meet specific requirements when it comes to the types of duties they perform. Although Mariko was paid a salary at Adobe, she alleges she did not qualify for the overtime exemption. Mariko alleges she regularly worked more than eight hours a day and forty hours a week and was never compensated for this time.
In addition to federal labor laws, each state has their own labor laws governing the employees working in the state. California has strict mandates regarding breaks, in which all non-exempt employees are entitled to a paid ten-minute rest break for every four hours they spend working. For every five hours worked, employees are entitled to an unpaid meal break of at least thirty minutes. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks, the employer must pay her one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day.
Mariko alleges she regularly worked through her lunch break, and that the company knew and approved of her missed lunch breaks, but never compensated her for that time.
Adobe denies all the claims and this case will be litigated.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as BJ’s, Jewel, Hienans, Aldi, Smart & Final, Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Marshalls, TJ Max, Victoria’s Secret, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart, Costco 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.