Californians have some of the best employee protections in the country. Our state has worked hard to establish fair wages, decent hours, and laws that are in the best interest of workers. Rules are put in place to discourage employers from overworking employees, and in situations where that is necessary, offering ample compensation. But that doesn’t mean employers will always play by the rules.
Two employees, on behalf of all other affected employees, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court of California, County of Fresno against L’Oréal USA on allegations the company did not fully pay overtime wages and did not provide proper meal breaks. More specifically, plaintiffs allege L’Oréal forced employees to clock out, and then would require them to stay for loss prevention inspections. These inspections were a mandatory part of the job and were performed during times when employees were no longer being paid for their time. When performed during a lunch, this meant employees were not receiving the full meal break as required by law.
In addition to performing inspections during people’s meal breaks, plaintiffs allege that the intense workload at L’Oréal caused them to sometimes miss meal breaks entirely or work through portions of their designated break time. According to the lawsuit, plaintiffs also claimed they were denied 10-minute rest breaks(required for every four hours on the clock) occasionally when the production schedule was especially tight.Our trusted Los Angeles wage dispute attorneys know if these claims are accurate, they are all gross violations of numerous laws. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, it is not necessary for an employer to pay an employee for 30-minute meal breaks, so long as the employee is “completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating.” Therefore, when mandatory checks take place during those breaks, the employee is not getting paid nor their break time. FLSA also outlines that employees may voluntarily stay after designated work hours to finish a task, but regardless of why they are still on duty or their willingness to remain on, they must be compensated for that time.
Further, according to the lawsuit, defendant allegedly failed to properly calculate and provide itemized wage statements for overtime work conducted by plaintiffs. This would be in direct violation of California Labor Code Section 226.
When an employer is trying to stretch a dollar, maximize the bottom line, and push production capacity to the limits, it’s easy to slip into a pattern of leaning too heavily on employees. But who is looking out for the bottom line of employees who are working so hard to make ends meet and build a good life for themselves? That’s where our experienced team of employment lawyers steps in. In addition to fighting for proper wages and mandated breaks, our skilled wage and hour attorneys in Orange County will tackle FLSA violations, unpaid wages, tip withholding, employment misclassification, and failure to pay minimum wage, among other employment related issues. We stand by you when it feels like the deck is stacked against you.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Conti and Mora, et al v. L’Oréal USA et al, March 6, 2018, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno
More Blog Entries:
Making a Wage/Hour Claim in Los Angeles, Dec. 6, 2017, Los Angeles Employment Lawyers Blog