Employers have a few different options when it comes to how they pay their employees. Although the standard annual salary and hourly wage are the most common and well-known forms of payment, other options include paying employees on commission or on a per-day or per-project basis.
Regardless of how employers pay their workers, there are various federal and local labor laws they need to be sure to obey.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay their workers a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, or more if the local minimum wage is higher. The FLSA also defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. By law, employers are required to pay all their nonexempt, hourly workers one and one-half times their normal hourly wage for all the overtime they spend working.
The FLSA also requires employers to maintain accurate records of all the time their employees spent working for at least the past seven years. These records should include the employee’s hourly wage or annual salary, the wages they earned, the wages they were paid, and any deductions that were made from their pay (such as taxes, health insurance, etc.).
Bimbo Bakeries, the largest baked goods company in the United States, has faced several employment lawsuits in various states alleging failure to abide by the FLSA and local labor laws. The latest wage and hour lawsuit was recently filed in New Jersey by Christopher O., Michael L., and Philip B., all of whom have worked for Bimbo Bakeries U.S.A. as delivery drivers for more than 23 years.
The wage and hour lawsuit alleges Bimbo Bakeries violated both the FLSA and New Jersey Wage and Hour Law by refusing to pay its delivery drivers overtime. Instead, they were allegedly paid a flat rate of $110 per week, plus a 12% commission on the sales they made on their delivery route.
The drivers were labeled as “route sales representatives,” but they allegedly had no sales training and their sales were largely determined by the amount of product the retailers had sold to their customers. According to the complaint, this allegedly left the drivers with no control over their sales and no way to improve the commissions they earned.
The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges that Bimbo Bakeries violated the FLSA by failing to properly keep track of all the hours worked by its delivery drivers.
The three named plaintiffs filed the class action wage and hour lawsuit on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated current and former employees of Bimbo Bakeries in New Jersey. The plaintiffs estimate the class consists of more than 40 employees.
The New Jersey wage and hour lawsuit is one of many such employment lawsuits Bimbo Bakeries has had to face in states all over the country – from California to Massachusetts. Settlements have ranged from $905,000 to almost $4 million, although due to the relatively small class size of the New Jersey lawsuit, it is unlikely the settlement or award to come out of this lawsuit will be quite so large.
The Chicago class action and employment law attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Crystal Lake. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Evanston and Cicero overtime and employment lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago and Oak Brook, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.