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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Vons accused of non-payment of overtime in class-action lawsuit

Many retail employees in California and elsewhere may be expected to work overtime to keep up with customer demands. During these long shifts, workers also expect to take breaks so that they do not burn out and can continue to do their jobs effectively. Unfortunately, many workers get exploited and are not paid the overtime they deserve.

Vons, a retail supermarket grocery chain, is being accused by a group of 500 past and current employees who work for the Santa Barbara stores of failing to pay them properly and give them their legally mandated rest periods. According to the class-action lawsuit, the workers were the victims of wage theft for four years. The employees were allegedly forced to work through their rest periods and were not paid overtime. Some workers reportedly were not paid the minimum wage.

In the lawsuit, Vons is also accused of not paying employees who were fired or quit their final pay checks in a timely fashion. The lawsuit also states that employee payroll records were modified to reflect that workers had taken their rest periods when they did not. Additionally, when employees did work overtime, their time cards had the overtime removed. Many of the workers were allegedly forced to work over eight hours, sometimes up to 12 hours per day, without overtime compensation.

California-headquartered Vons contends that it pays its employees within the confines of the law. The lawsuit has been filed in a Superior Court. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, they may be awarded the unpaid overtime, other lost wages and interest that they are seeking.

Source: noozhawk.com, "Santa Barbara County Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Against Vons", Gina Potthoff, Sept. 25, 2015

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