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California warehouse workers sue for overtime wages

A second lawsuit has been filed against a logistics company alleging the company broke state wage and hour laws. The lawsuit claims company officials constructed an illegal scheme that required employees to work overtime hours without actually having to pay them the higher overtime wages. The suit is seeking class action status and was filed on behalf of three employees.

The first lawsuit, filed in October, alleges that the company and two of its subcontractors did not pay employees the required minimum wages, overtime pay or for all hours worked on the premises. It also claims employees were not provided with proper wage statements.

In June of 2008, the logistics and distribution company established a plan for a 4 day work week that it states conformed to the state of California's labor laws. The company asked employees to work 4 ten-hour days with 3 days off per week, rather than the standard 8-hours per day, 5 days per week they had been working. Two-thirds of the staff had to vote in favor of the new schedule before it could be implemented without the company being required to pay overtime for the additional two hours worked per day.

The lawsuit alleges that the company violated state law by conducting the voting only in English. State law requires voting be in English and Spanish if at least 5 percent of the company's workforce speaks only limited English. The suit also claims many employees did not receive notice of the proposal in any language.

Wage and hour labor laws are continually changing which makes it incredibly difficult for employees to understand their rights regarding a variety of employment law issues. If you feel you have been discriminated against or have an overtime wage dispute, consult with an employment law attorney who can help you determine if your rights have been violated and you are due back pay.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "WORKPLACE: Second warehouse lawsuit filed against Schneider," Jack Katzanek, Mar. 15, 2012

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