There are a number of ways employees can be paid. The most common is probably for employees to be paid on an hourly basis, but salaries are also widely used. In some businesses, workers get paid on a piece-rate basis, which means they get paid a set rate for each job they complete. This practice is legal, so long as the workers are paid in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA requires employers to pay all workers at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Under the FLSA, all time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week is considered overtime and should be paid at the premium overtime rate of one and one-half times the employee’s normal hourly rate. Employers that pay their workers on a piece-rate basis are still required to pay their workers the equivalent of at least the federal minimum wage for all time the employees spend working and the premium overtime rate for all overtime worked.
According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit against Bridgestone, the tire retailer allegedly violated both the FLSA and California labor laws by forcing its mechanics to perform work off the clock. The lawsuit alleges Bridgestone paid its mechanics based on pre-set time allowed for each job. However, jobs can often take longer than anticipated and Bridgestone’s system allegedly failed to take into account the time mechanics spent waiting between jobs and performing tasks in addition to those jobs, such as preparing and cleaning their work areas.
The current class action against Bridgestone is actually a conglomerate of four different wage and hour lawsuits that were filed separately in the state of California and eventually consolidated into one lawsuit. This consolidation procedure benefits the courts because it saves time and resources by allowing the court to deal with multiple actions all at one. It also benefits employees who might not have large enough claims to warrant filing a lawsuit on their own. By combining their claims, the plaintiffs make up an action that can take on even large corporations, such as Bridgestone. Bridgestone denies all of the claims but nevertheless settled the case.
The wage and hour lawsuit was settled for $3.125 million and the settlement has been granted approval by a California court, so class members can expect to see their share of the settlement soon. $3.125 million sounds like a lot of money, but split between the approximately 2,757 current and former employees that are eligible to participate in the class, after attorneys’ fees and costs, each class member will receive a relatively small amount.
What the plaintiffs lose from the actual amount of the settlement, they gain from the security of knowing they get something out of the lawsuit. Settlements are common, especially in large class actions, because large lawsuits have the potential to drag on in the courts for years and to get very costly. Rather than risk an extended lawsuit with extremely high costs, and an uncertain outcome, the plaintiffs get the security of knowing they get some sort of compensation for their troubles.
Likewise, the defendants also avoid a long and costly legal battle that could potentially result in much higher fines or damages awarded against them. A settlement is a way of quickly and efficiently resolving a large legal dispute so that everybody wins if the settlement is fair and reasonable.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as 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.