Federal and state laws have been put in place to protect employees and to make sure that they are all paid fair wages for the work that they perform. These laws provide minimum wages and dictate how many hours an employee can work within a certain period of time before they are entitled to the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate. Some states require employers to provide their workers with meal and rest breaks, but there are no laws which require employer to provide paid vacation time.
However, under California law, if an employer has a policy which includes paid vacation time, then such paid time is considered wages, and as such, the employer is required to pay it. According to California labor law, “earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned, or vests, as labor is performed. For example, if an employee is entitled to two weeks of vacation per year, after six months of work he or she will have earned five days of vacation. Vacation pay accrues as it is earned, and cannot be forfeited, even upon termination of employment, regardless of the reason for the termination.” A former employee of Walt Disney Worldwide Services Inc. filed a wage and hour class action lawsuit alleging that the entertainment company failed to provide employees with accrued paid vacation time upon termination of the worker’s employment.
Reykeel Zorio was hired by Disney in November 2011. Soon afterwards, he was assigned to work at the Disney Resort it Burbank California.
California also has a law which states that, upon termination of a worker’s employment, the employer is required to provide the worker with all earned wages within 72 hours after termination of employment. If the worker gives notice of termination at least 72 hours ahead of time, then all wages must be paid upon termination. According to the lawsuit, Disney allegedly failed to pay workers whose employment was terminated within that 72-hour time frame. When employees received their final pay, it was allegedly less than what they had earned based on hours worked and earned paid vacation time.
The lawsuit is seeking compensation for damages for unpaid vacation time accrued, reimbursement of wages, and punitive damages for unfair and illegal business practices. Failure to provide employees with all earned wages is considered an illegal business practice, because withholding those wages gives the employer an unfair advantage over competing business that properly pay their employees. That money can be used to invest in the company or it can get recorded as profit.
The proposed class action could potentially consist of more than 500 former employees of Disney who have worked for the entertainment company. Any employee who worked in California at Disneyland Hotel, Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Downtown Disney District, Disneyland Park, or Disney’s California Adventure Park and was denied paid vacation time, portions of final wages, and other forms of monetary compensation due them are eligible to participate in the class.
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including La Quinta, Microtel, Best Western, Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for misclassifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action 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 Palatine, Skokie and Lincolnwood. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Skokie and Wheaton overtime 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 misclassify 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 represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.