SAN FRANCISCO — A group of San Francisco transit workers were granted class certification for their overtime lawsuit against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The transit workers’ lawsuit claims the agency’s scheduling policies required transit workers to work beyond their scheduled shifts without pay. The public transit workers filed their lawsuit in 2012 and are suing the agency under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California Labor law.
Transit Workers’ Claim
The transit workers claim they frequently worked more than 40 hours a week, but were not paid overtime. They allege that the agency failed to pay overtime for time spent meeting with supervisors and transporting passengers. The lawsuit claims operators were not paid for the time they worked when their routes were behind schedule, for time spent in meetings, or for time spent traveling between locations for work related purposes. The agency also allegedly failed to include the time spent completing those activities on the operators’ payroll records preventing the transit workers from receiving overtime pay.
The transit workers are seeking unpaid wages, overtime, and liquidated damages. They are also seeking an injunction to stop the agency’s illegal scheduling and pay practices. The newly certified class consists of more than 2,000 public transit workers operating buses and trains in San Francisco since July 2009.
When employers make employees schedules they must consider many factors including meal and break periods and job related duties like paper work and meetings. Employers generally make a point of scheduling hourly employees for 40 hours or less each week. Most employers will have a scheduling policy explaining hours, schedules, and procedures for making changes or working more than 40 hours a week. These policies are occasionally very useful in overtime wage claims.
The public transit workers, in this case, had to show court that the agency had a policy of scheduling workers in such a way that employees went unpaid for various tasks which applied to all of the potential class members in the same way. The agency helped the transit workers by admitting that there are policies requiring employees to meet with supervisors, to inspect their vehicles, and complete other tasks. But, the agency argued that the policies did not apply to all of the potential class members in the same manner. However, the court found enough evidence to show that the agency knew the transit workers’ schedules resulted in longer hours that went unpaid.
If you are a San Francisco transit worker or you believe your employer has denied you proper overtime wages, contact our knowledgeable team of overtime pay lawyers today at (855) 754-2795. Or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form and our experienced legal team will evaluate your case. If we accept your case, our No Fee Promise means there are no legal fees or costs for you unless you receive a settlement. However, there are strict time deadlines for filing lawsuits so it is important to contact an attorney immediately.