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Overtime Lawsuit Results in $2.2 Million to Plaintiffs

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San Jose, CAAn overtime lawsuit filed by workers at Emeritus Senior Living has resulted in a settlement that will see the company pay $2.2 million to employees. The class-action lawsuit alleged unpaid overtime, violations of meal and rest breaks and improper pay for training sessions.

ProPublica (8/22/13) reports that the settlement must still be approved by a judge, but would see workers at more than 50 Emeritus facilities in California between 2007 and 2013 share in the settlement. Workers affected by the settlement were non-salaried support staff. Emeritus said that it works to be competitive in the compensation it offers employees and that its employees are properly compensated.

The lawsuit was filed on March 3, 2011, according to court documents. At the time, the plaintiffs alleged a variety of claims, including failure to pay reporting time, failure to pay split shift premiums and violations of the Private Attorneys General Act.

The lawsuit (case number 5:11-CV-03504 EJD, in the US District Court, Northern District of California) was initially filed by Vanessa Castro.

Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit against Kraft Foods Global, filed by Gilbert Salinas, has reportedly been settled for $900,000. Court documents allege that Salinas and approximately 131 other workers were employed as route salespeople in California and were improperly classified as exempt from overtime. Kraft said route salespeople had roles “similar to managing their own business,” including increasing sales and finding new accounts, and as such were paid commission.

But the plaintiffs alleged their roles mainly involved mundane tasks, including driving and delivering Kraft products, checking inventory and putting new inventory in its proper location. “Given the demands of their routes, Plaintiff alleges, route salespersons rarely have time to take a meal or rest break, much less find new business (i.e., conduct sales).” Furthermore, the plaintiffs alleged, when the only Kraft subsidiary to use the “deliver and sell” method was sold to Nestle, the exact same position was reclassified as non-exempt from overtime.

The lawsuit (case number 12-CV-02894-CW, US District Court, Northern District of California) alleged that Kraft consistently permitted, encouraged or required its route salespeople to work more than eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week without paying them overtime compensation and failing to provide meal and rest periods.

In addition to the $900,000, attorneys’ fees and costs and payroll taxes were included in the settlement.


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