A proposed class action lawsuit out of California alleges Charter Communications, Inc. failed to compensate its maintenance technicians for all hours spent under company control, among several other wage and hour abuses.
Under the California Labor Code, companies are required to give employees a “30-minute duty-free meal period” for every five hours spent working and an uninterrupted 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked, the suit explains. If a company fails to provide proper meal or rest periods, the statute requires that employees receive an hour’s pay for each improper break, the complaint says.
With regard to the lead plaintiff, a maintenance technician who currently works for the defendant, the case claims the man was required by Charter to respond to phone calls during his breaks. As a result, the plaintiff says he frequently shortened or worked through his breaks to complete tasks assigned during such calls. The case claims, however, that the defendant did not compensate the plaintiff for his on-duty meal and rest periods with an extra hour of pay as required by law.
The case further claims Charter failed to properly compensate the plaintiff for every hour spent under the company’s control during “on-call shifts.” During these shifts, the plaintiff claims, the defendant would occasionally call him in to work and then abruptly cancel the assignment while he was en route. The plaintiff would not be compensated for this time if Charter canceled the assignment within 15 minutes of the initial call, the suit alleges. The complaint argues that the plaintiff is entitled to between two and four hours’ pay under the Industrial Welfare Commission’s (IWC) Wage Order for each instance where he was given no job-related duties but was still required to report to work.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Charter Communications failed to pay maintenance technicians all regular and overtime wages in a timely fashion. Specifically, the case claims the defendant failed to pay employees overtime for off-the-clock work performed after the end of their shifts and, on at least one occasion, failed to compensate the plaintiff for his labor until three months later. Further still, Charter Communications also failed to include non-discretionary quarterly bonuses in the calculation of maintenance technicians’ overtime wages, according to the complaint. Lastly, the lawsuit claims Charter failed to maintain accurate payroll records and provide maintenance technicians with accurate, itemized wage statements in accordance with state and federal law.
The lawsuit seeks to represent a class covering all maintenance technicians who worked for the defendant in California between November 5, 2015 and the present, along with a subclass comprising all class members whose employment ended after November 5, 2016. Initially filed in San Diego Superior Court, the case has been removed to California’s Southern District.