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Ag Packing Workers File Overtime Claims

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted to prevent employers from taking advantage of their workers. It is responsible for regulating things like minimum wage (which is currently set at $7.25) and overtime compensation all over the country.

The FLSA defines overtime as any time worked after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Under the FLSA, all hourly, nonexempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. The FLSA does provide some exceptions to this rule, but it is very specific about the types of employees that can qualify for the overtime exemption.

In addition to the FLSA, each state has its own overtime laws that govern all employers working within the state. Therefore, anyone who conducts business in the United States needs to be sure they are in compliance with all relevant state and federal labor laws.

Of all the states, California has the strictest regulations for its employers. In addition to the standard overtime rules, California labor law also requires its employers to pay all workers double their normal hourly rate for all time worked after twelve hours a day and for all time spent working on the seventh consecutive day of work.

Additionally, employers are also required to provide all hourly workers with a paid, uninterrupted rest break at least ten minutes long for every four hours spent working. For every five hours worked, employees are entitled to an unpaid uninterrupted meal break lasting at least half an hour. For every day an employee misses one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of pay, in addition to all wages earned that day.

According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit against Agro-Jal Farming Enterprises Inc., Agro-Jal Farms Inc., and Paloma Packing Inc., the agricultural family allegedly violated multiple state and federal labor laws.

Cipriano Ponce and Carlos Faria, the lead plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, allege employees of the three companies were made to work 13-hour days, six days a week, plus six hours on the seventh day. The employers allegedly refused to pay them the proper overtime compensation.

Labor law also requires employers to be responsible for all business-related expenses in order to prevent companies from shifting this burden onto its employees. In the event an employee pays for any work-related costs, whether supplies or travel expenses, the employer is required to provide reimbursement.

The current wage and hour class action lawsuit alleges the agricultural companies failed to reimburse its employees for work-related expenses, including tools, equipment, and gas.

In accordance with California labor law, the California Labor Workforce Agency has been notified of the alleged violations and will be given the chance to review the allegations and pursue the legal complaint. If the Agency decides not to pursue the complaint, the lead plaintiffs will then have the option to pursue it themselves.

Ponce and Faria have already stated they have every intention of pursuing the matter in court if the Agency declines. They will lead a class action lawsuit because they claim the alleged violations apply to all hourly employees who were made to work similar hours.

The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains, internet retailers and car dealers such as Petsmart, Officemax, Staples, Smart & Final, Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, PetSmart, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Marshalls, Bed Bath & Beyond, 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, Amazon, Overstock.com, BMW car dealer, Ford car dealers, GM car dealers, Jeep car dealers, Toyota car dealers, VW car dealers, Mercedes car dealers, Audi car dealers, and other retail chains and internet sellers 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.  We have offices in Chicago and Oak Brook near Naperville, Wheaton and Elmhurst.