A proposed class and collective action claims Aramark Campus, LLC has failed to pay wages for every hour worked and discriminated against a woman on the basis of her autoimmune conditions.
The plaintiff, an ex-employee of the food services company, alleges she and others are owed unpaid minimum and overtime wages as a result of Aramark’s apparent practice of requiring work to be performed off the clock by way of “time shaving.”
“Defendant’s time-shaving policies and failure to pay employees for all compensable hours worked, resulted in a systematic failure to pay the full and proper wages for all hours worked by Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees,” the complaint claims, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.
Per the lawsuit, the plaintiff worked for the defendant at several New York State schools in Suffolk County, most recently in a lead cook position. In that role, the plaintiff was responsible for preparing students’ breakfasts and lunches, stocking inventory, picking up produce and supplies from nearby schools, washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and submitting paperwork for supply orders, the case says. The plaintiff and other workers were required to clock in for their shifts by calling an Aramark-operated hotline and not permitted to clock in more than 15 minutes before the start of each, according to the suit.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that the plaintiff was frequently required to arrive at work one to two hours before the start of her 7:30 a.m. shift each day without being paid for the extra time. Given that the plaintiff had no additional help with preparing breakfast, and that the students’ breakfast shift began at 8:15 a.m., the woman needed to begin working well before her shift started in order to ensure the meals could be served on time, the case says. Moreover, the plaintiff was required to pick up ingredients from three other schools at least two days per week before the start of her shift because the items were purchased in bulk and delivered to only one of the schools in the district, the suit relays.
The complaint goes on to claim that the plaintiff was also required to work past her shift end time of 2:30 p.m. at least three times per week. Further, since lead cooks were required to submit inventory data to the defendant, the plaintiff put in an additional six hours of unpaid work per month compiling and sending the information, according to the suit.
The lawsuit says the plaintiff, in January 2019 and again in March, complained to her supervisor about the unpaid off-the-clock work. In response, the defendant hired an additional employee who “only worked two days per week, four hours per day, in an effort to alleviate Plaintiff’s workload,” the case claims. However, since the additional employee did not begin until after the breakfast shift, the plaintiff was still required to arrive at work between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. each day, the suit states.
The plaintiff states in the lawsuit that she was diagnosed in September 2020 with multiple autoimmune conditions and advised against lifting more than five pounds, after which she asked to be transferred to an office position. The plaintiff’s supervisor referred the woman to the defendant’s human resources department, who told her she needed to contact Sedgwick, Aramark’s leave center, even though she did not request medical leave, according to the suit.
The plaintiff, the case says, was then informed that she did not qualify for medical leave, and was sent two letters informing her that she was not eligible, and that Sedgwick, in partnership with Aramark, had closed her request for accommodation because “Employee Did Not Participate.” The plaintiff says she was never informed of the next step after she was denied leave on September 18, 2020 and no longer worked for Aramark after that date, per the suit.
The lawsuit alleges Aramark engaged in discriminatory employment practices and subjected the plaintiff to a hostile work environment based on her disability in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law.
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