Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC face a proposed class and collective action that claims the tire retailer has systematically underpaid hourly workers.
The plaintiff, a tire sales manager who’s worked at various Bridgestone locations since September 2018, alleges the defendants have unlawfully modified employees’ time records, understated their hours worked and miscalculated overtime wages, amounting to a failure to pay proper wages in accordance with federal and Pennsylvania labor laws.
The lawsuit alleges Bridgestone has “knowingly and intentionally” modified employees’ time records within the computerized timekeeping system used throughout the company’s more than 2,000 stores. Per the complaint, the defendants have overridden some workers’ entries by adding a lunch break regardless of whether an employee actually took or recorded a lunch break.
“The insertion of these lunchbreaks has resulted in the systematic understatement of hours worked (and therefore wages owed) to Plaintiff and the other Putative Class Members,” the case claims.
Moreover, the suit claims the defendants have similarly altered time records for hours other than lunch breaks, specifically during weeks in which employees worked substantial amounts of overtime. Bridgestone did so in order to reduce compensable work time and avoid paying time-and-a-half overtime wages, according to the case.
The lawsuit goes on to allege Bridgestone’s timekeeping system undercounted the amount of time worked with a feature that systematically delayed employees’ start times “by multiple minutes” for each shift. Notably, the system appears to have accurately tracked the punch-out times for each shift yet was designed to “shave” down workers’ hours at the front end of their shifts in favor of the defendants, the case says.
“The result of this automatic time-shaving is that the work time credited to Plaintiff and the other Putative Class Members is systematically less than the actual work time,” the complaint relays, alleging employees have been denied both regular and overtime wages due to the defendants’ apparent undercounting of time worked.
The plaintiff alleges that although he’s complained multiple times to the defendants with regard to the falsification of time records, the company has failed to correct its policies and practices.
Still further, Bridgestone has knowingly and intentionally violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to include weekly performance bonuses in employees’ regular rates of pay for the purpose of calculating overtime wages, the case says. According to the suit, all compensation, including bonuses, is to be taken into account when an employer determines time-and-a-half overtime rates.
The plaintiff alleges Bridgestone’s policies and practices have been applied throughout its locations nationwide, affecting thousands of other managers of tire sales, service managers, sales representatives and maintenance technicians.
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