Procter & Gamble Distributing, LLC and Schenker, Inc. have been hit with a proposed class action wherein an employee alleges violations of California’s Labor Code have caused workers to be underpaid.
The lawsuit alleges Procter & Gamble and logistics provider Schenker have failed to pay workers the minimum wage for every hour worked and proper overtime wages for weekly hours worked in excess of 40. Moreover, the defendants have failed to provide workers with proper meal and rest breaks and accurate wage statements in accordance with California law, the suit claims.
According to the case, P&G and Schenker employ a practice of shaving employees’ recorded hours by rounding the times they clock in and out to the nearest quarter hour in the companies’ favor. As a result of this practice, the suit says, workers have not been paid for every hour worked.
Further, the lawsuit alleges the defendants have, since February 2020, required employees to line up before clocking in for their shifts to undergo COVID-19 temperature scans and complete medical screening questionnaires without paying wages for this compensable work time. The plaintiff, who has worked for the companies since August 2015, claims workers spend roughly three to six minutes each shift waiting in line and undergoing the medical screenings. According to the suit, the nature of the screenings, particularly the degree of control the defendants maintain over the individuals, indicates workers should be paid in accordance with state law:
“Plaintiff and similarly situated employees are subject to Defendants’ control while lining up, waiting for, and undergoing the mandatory COVID-19 temperature scans and medical screening questionnaires because they are required as a practical matter, occur at the workplace, involve a significant degree of control, are imposed primarily for Defendant’s benefit, and are enforced through threat of discipline.”
The lawsuit goes on to claim that the aforementioned practices have caused workers to incur unpaid overtime wages when they’ve worked more than 40 hours in a week, eight hours in a day, or for seven consecutive days.
The plaintiff further alleges he and other workers have been denied proper 30-minute meal breaks for shifts longer than five hours, second meal breaks for shifts longer than 10 hours and 10-minute rest breaks for every four hours worked. Because workers are required to remain on-premises during rest periods, the defendants “effectively control ‘how’ and ‘where’” workers spend their 10-minute breaks, and the rest periods are therefore not duty-free, the lawsuit argues.
Per the case, the defendants have not only failed to provide proper breaks in accordance with California law but have denied workers one hour of compensation at their regular rate for each missed break.
The lawsuit also argues that the plaintiff and similarly situated workers were not provided with accurate wage statements detailing, for example, their overtime or double-time rates of pay, or timely paid their final wages after the end of their employment.
Initially filed in Riverside County, California Superior Court, the lawsuit was removed to the state’s Central District Court on May 28, 2021.
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