LOS ANGELES -More than 1,700 part-time merchandise employees appear to have reached a settlement with Kraft Foods Global Inc. in their wage and overtime class action lawsuit recently. The settlement received preliminary approval from a California state court in mid-November, allowing the parties to move closer to resolution of this dispute. The parties received preliminary approval of the $1.5 million offer to settle the employees claims that the food company denied them meal and rest breaks and the associated overtime for the denial.
The parties reached their $1.5 million settlement through mediation. Of the $1.5 million, the more than 100 class members will share in around $870,000, and Adeline Metcalfe, the named plaintiff, will receive an additional $10,000 for her services as the lead plaintiff. Metcalfe, who filed her lawsuit in August 2011, was a former merchandiser for Kraft from early 2007 until November 2010.
As a merchandiser, Metcalfe, and the other similarly situated employees she sought to represent, ensured Kraft’s products were properly stocked and coordinated the delivery of the products with the retailers. According to Metcalfe’s lawsuit, the merchandisers were allegedly denied the standard time and a half for overtime when they worked more than 40 hours a week or more than 8 hours a day, under California state law. The merchandisers allegedly regularly worked long hours and should have received overtime on a regular basis.
In addition to the failure to pay overtime wages, the merchandisers were also allegedly denied meal and rest breaks, for which California law provides, and, in the alternative, the compensation associated with not taking or receiving those breaks. California state wage laws require employers to provide meal and rest breaks when employees work more than a certain amount of hours, regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time. If those meal or rest breaks are denied, not taken, or interrupted, the employees are entitled to premium pay which is an additional hour’s wages to compensate for the lost 30 minutes of break.
Inaccurate Wage Statements
Finally, the merchandisers claim Kraft failed to provide them with accurate wage statements, which made it difficult for them to understand and calculate the wages and hours for which they were being compensated. Even if the food company did not fail to provide overtime, break periods, and compensation for missed breaks, the inaccurate wage statements would be an actionable violation of California wage laws.
When an employer fails to provide proper wages and compensation for time worked or fails to accurately report those wages and hours, there is a potential for wage and overtime violations. If you believe your employer has failed to pay your earned overtime, our top-rated team of overtime pay lawyers can evaluate your situation and discuss your options today at (855) 754-2795 or you can complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.