Of all the American states, California has become known for having some of the strictest employment laws to protect the employees who work within the state. In addition to the usual minimum wage and overtime regulations, California also has legislation requiring employers to provide all their hourly, non-exempt workers with regular meal and rest breaks throughout the day.
For every four hours an employee spends working in California, she is entitled to one paid, uninterrupted rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours of work, the employee is entitled to one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break of at least thirty minutes. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks, for any reason, her employer must pay her one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages, bonuses, and tips earned that day.
California labor law also requires its employers to pay their workers in a timely manner, especially in the event of a termination. Any time a worker’s employment is terminated, the employer must pay all wages due to her within 72 hours of the termination. If a worker provides at least 72 hours worth of notice prior to termination, then all her wages are due upon termination.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing retailer allegedly violated these California labor laws by failing to provide workers with the mandatory breaks and failing to properly reimburse them for the breaks they missed. The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges that Abercrombie & Fitch failed to pay their workers in a timely manner in the event of termination of employment.
Because Abercrombie & Fitch allegedly financially benefited from its own alleged failure to provide the mandatory meal and rest breaks and to compensate employees accordingly, the class action lawsuit is also filing charges for unfair business practices. The class action lawsuit alleges Abercrombie & Fitch had a material advantage over other businesses that provided all their employees with the proper breaks and compensated them for missed breaks.
Abercrombie’s parent company along with Hollister and Gilly Hicks, have also been included as defendants in the class action wage and hour lawsuit. Although all of these companies continue to deny having done anything illegal, they and the class of plaintiffs have agreed to settle the lawsuit for $2 million in order to avoid the hassle, expense, and risk associated with continuing to fight the legal dispute in the courts.
The settlement covers all current and former employees of Abercrombie and Hollister who worked at least one shift lasting 3.5 hours or longer at an Abercrombie & Fitch California location any time between February 26, 2012 and September 30, 2014, or at a Gilly Hicks store in California any time between January 16, 2009 and September 30, 2014.
Approximately 62,000 workers are eligible to participate in the class action settlement. Anyone who does not agree with the terms of the settlement can choose to opt out of the class by providing the Settlement Administrator with a written request any time before December 28, 2015.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Petsmart, Officemax, Staples, Smart & Final, Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Hollister, Gilly Hicks, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Burlington Coat Factory, 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, PetSmart, REI 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 one of our offices near Olympia Fields and Ford Heights at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.