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Unpaid Wages Lawsuits

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Denver, COThese days, unpaid wages lawsuits run the gamut from unpaid overtime wages to not paying minimum wage to not actually paying employees for all the work they do. In some cases, that means employees are doing off-the-clock work for their employers. Some situations of unpaid wages are clear-cut, such as when an employee is actually carrying out work activities but not being paid for it. But other activities are not so clear-cut, such as when the employee is carrying out activities that are required for the job, but not always considered job duties, such as arriving at work 10 minutes early to put on safety gear or waiting around after work for a security check.

More lawsuits are focusing on activities such as these, which were at one time seen to be a normal part of employment: show up for work early and put on the proper gear - or log in to the proper computer systems - so that when the paid time starts, the employee is ready to go. Or, stay behind after work to undergo a security check, to ensure the employee is not stealing from the employer.

But more and more employees are fighting against this extra time on the job, arguing that because such procedures are a required part of the job, they take away from their personal time. Over the course of a year, 10 minutes spent waiting after a shift for a security check can add up. By the same token, 10 minutes spent logging in to computer systems prior to a shift, and after every break, and logging out for each break and at the end of a shift, can add up to a lot of unpaid wages - and time taken out of the employee’s unpaid 30-minute break.

Furthermore, some employees complain they are not paid for meetings and mandatory training time - time they spend that benefits their employer, but they receive no compensation for. Consider also that for full-time employees, that extra 10 to 20 minutes each shift would constitute overtime, meaning those employees would receive time and a half for the minutes they spend before and after shifts preparing for work.

Employees argue that if the time spent in meetings, training, or preparing for or leaving shifts is not optional, then they should be paid for it. Some of the companies that face such lawsuits include Apple, against which lawsuits were filed regarding unpaid wages for time spent awaiting security checks; and Bloomin’ Brands, against which a lawsuit was filed alleging employees had to work unpaid “Outback Time” 10 to 15 minutes before their scheduled shifts setting up, and that they were not paid for training time or mandatory company meetings.

The Apple lawsuit is case number 3:13-cv-03451-EDL. The Bloomin’ Brands lawsuit is case number 2:13-cv-01821-JAD-NJK, in Nevada Federal District Court.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I work for a college were we are required to take a full sick day or personal day each time we miss all of our classes. But we may do most of our work ecture prep, grading, etc) when working from home. So to college forces us to take a full day off even though we may only miss 2-3 huous with students. Seems like this is unlawful taking of sick time, for we get paid if not used. And, the contract is silent on the issue....but the head oh hr says we must code the time cards as he says or suffer the consequences. System has @ 70,000 faculty. Seems like class action to me.

Thoughts?

Posted by

on
When I was working at best buy the same thing happened to me. I would have to wait for coat check after the time I was to work, 5min some times way later than that. Yet they let me go for time and attendance.

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