Penske Logistics, LLC and Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. face a proposed class action in which a former employee claims he and other truck drivers were not provided with proper breaks or overtime wages.
According to the case, Penske assigned workloads that could not reasonably be completed within employees’ scheduled hours, forcing them to work through meal and rest breaks.
Moreover, the suit says Penske stopped paying overtime wages in the fall of 2018 despite knowing workers continued to put in more than eight hours of work per day and 40 per week. Even when employees did receive overtime pay, the time-and-a-half rates failed to include nondiscretionary bonuses as part of workers’ regular wages, according to the complaint.
The plaintiff says he worked for Penske as a yard driver and truck driver between June 2018 and July 2020. As a yard driver, he was responsible for moving trailers to and from docks in the yard and turning on trucks’ cooling systems before products were loaded, the case says. As a driver, the plaintiff was responsible for transporting and delivering Penske’s customers’ products from the Colton, California warehouse to various locations in Southern California, according to the suit.
The plaintiff says he worked between 60 and 65 hours per week and was paid on an hourly basis.
Per the case, Penske had no policy, practice, procedure, guideline or culture in place to ensure workers were provided with uninterrupted 30-minute meal breaks and 10-minute rest periods in accordance with California law. The plaintiff claims it was the company’s policy to assign workers routes, delivery requirements and/or workloads that “cannot reasonably be completed” within their scheduled hours, which caused employees to work through their breaks to meet Penske’s requirement that customers’ products be delivered on time.
Despite being aware that employees worked through their breaks, Penske failed to pay the workers premium wages for each missed break, according to the suit. In fact, the case claims workers were not paid at all for time spent working while they were clocked out for breaks.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that Penske informed workers in the fall of 2018 that they would no longer receive overtime pay for working more than eight hours in a day and 40 in a week. The plaintiff claims workers are still owed time-and-a-half wages for their overtime hours.
Further, the plaintiff claims Penske failed to include nondiscretionary bonuses, such as safety bonuses, as part of employees’ regular pay rates when calculating their time-and-a-half overtime rates, which caused them to be paid at lower rates.
Lastly, the case says workers were not timely paid all wages due upon their separation from employment and were not provided with accurate, itemized wage statements in accordance with California law.
Initially filed in San Bernardino County, California Superior Court, the lawsuit was removed to U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on December 18, 2020.
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