Articles Tagged with Chicago overtime and FLSA attorneys

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Even after two parties agree to a settlement, it can sometimes take months before the court grants final approval of settlement in a class action case. It is the responsibility of the court to make sure the settlement is fair to both parties before it closes the case for good.

A recent wage and hour class action lawsuit against Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group actually settled in August of 2014, but the court didn’t grant final approval of the settlement until January 2015. The wage and hour lawsuit involves 888 employees who worked at three of Wolfgang Puck’s major locations in California: Santa Monica, Spago in Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles. The lawsuit, which was filed in California, alleged violations of California Labor Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Continue reading

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Most workers don’t expect to get paid for the time they spend traveling to and from work, but there are certain exceptions to that rule. Some states, including California, have labor laws that require employers to pay workers for the time spent traveling to and from work sites if such travel is an integral part of the worker’s job. These laws are designed to protect employees who travel from site to site as part of their job, rather than employees who spend the majority of their work time in one location.

A wage and hour lawsuit has recently been filed against Stanley Black & Decker Inc. and 14 of its affiliates and subsidiaries. The lawsuit alleges the power tool company failed to properly compensate their field technicians for the time that it took them to travel to and from their work sites. The class action lawsuit also alleges that Black & Decker failed to pay proper wages to all of their employees and failed to provide accurate wage statements.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to provide all of their workers with accurate itemized wage statements, detailing all of the hours worked by the employee, all wages earned, and all deductions made, including taxes and health insurance. In some cases, the lawsuit alleges, the wage statements provided by Black & Decker incorrectly listed the worker’s employer. Continue reading

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that all employees working within the United States must be paid no less than $7.25 per hour for all of the time that they spend working. This is true regardless of how the employee gets paid, whether it is on commission, a salary, or on a piece-rate basis.

According to a new wage and hour lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart, the retail chain paid its truck drivers on a piece-rate basis that allegedly resulted in the drivers getting paid less than minimum wage for the time that they spent working for Wal-Mart. According to the lawsuit, the drivers were allegedly paid only $42 for 10-hour layovers.

The class action lawsuit also alleges that drivers were denied meal and rest breaks. Under California labor law, all employees working within the state of California (where the lawsuit was filed) are entitled to a paid rest break lasting at least ten minutes for every four hours that they spend working. For every five hours worked, the employee is entitled to an unpaid meal break of at least thirty minutes. For every day that one of these breaks is missed, for any reason, the law mandates that the employer must pay the worker one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day. Continue reading

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In order to discourage employers from overworking their employees, federal law requires that employers provide all of their hourly nonexempt employees with the proper overtime compensation of one and one half times their normal hourly rate for all time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours in a week. In addition to this law, which applies to all employees working in the United States, most states have their own labor laws to regulate employment in that state. For example, California requires all of its employers to provide their hourly workers with at least one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break lasting at least half an hour. According to the law, this break must be provided prior to the end of the employee’s fifth consecutive hour of work.

A recent class action wage and hour lawsuit has been filed which alleges that Taco Bell has failed to provide its hourly employees with the requisite meal breaks in a timely manner. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2007 by Lisa Hardiman and Sandrika Medlock, two former employees of the fast food chain. The lead plaintiffs alleged that, in violation of California labor law, employees working at Taco Bell were denied their meal break until after they had been working for at least five hours.

The lawsuit filed by Hardiman and Medlock was later consolidated with two other class action wage and hour lawsuits against Taco Bell. The plaintiffs petitioned for, and received, class action status.

Rather than continue to fight a legal battle that has already been going on for seven years, the two opposing parties involved in this lawsuit have decided to settle the case. Settlements are common in class actions, particularly when the outcome is uncertain. Legal battles (particularly large ones) have the potential to drag on in the courts for years, piling up legal fees for both sides. It is usually in the best interests of the defendant to settle a class action lawsuit because, if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the defendant could be stuck paying an extremely high court-ordered award, in addition to legal fees. By settling the case before the court has a chance to rule, the defendant has the option to negotiate for a smaller amount. Continue reading

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Most of us don’t expect our employers to pay us for the time that we spend commuting to and from work. This expectation changes, though, if driving from one location to another is a regular part of an employee’s duties. According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit, Nielsen Company (US) LLC, the well-known media research company that has been measuring audiences for more than fifty years, has been paying its employees for some of the time spent driving from one location to another, but not all of that time.

The class action lawsuit was filed by a Nielsen employee, who worked as a member representative for Nielsen. According to the complaint, part of the employee’s job was to visit the homes of individuals and families who were enrolled with Nielsen in order to monitor their television viewing habits and other forms of media consumption.

The complaint alleges that, although Nielsen did pay employees for most of the time spent commuting between homes, it did not pay them for the time spent commuting to the first visit of the day or from the last visit of the day. According to the lawsuit, Nielsen allegedly maintained a policy in which employees were not considered to be on the clock until they arrived at their first destination, and they were off the clock as soon as they left their last visit. Continue reading