Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC is on the receiving end of a proposed class action wherein a former employee claims she and other hourly workers were denied reporting time wages in violation of California’s Labor Code.
The 13-page lawsuit, which has been removed to the Central District of California, explains that the plaintiff worked at Lowe’s Santa Maria store as an hourly paid customer service associate between September 1, 2017 and October 11, 2019. Throughout her employment, the plaintiff received awards, bonuses and pay raises, with the most recent bonus and pay raise occurring in September 2019, the case says.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff and other hourly employees received printed schedules that covered roughly three work weeks in advance. The suit alleges, however, that after a newly hired acting store manager assumed scheduling duties, the plaintiff and other hourly workers were on several occasions “unexpectedly sent home” after arriving for their scheduled shifts.
Per the complaint, the manager dismissed the workers on the basis that she had changed the schedule the night before, after the plaintiff and other employees had left. The plaintiff says she complained to the manager several times that she had not been informed of the change and was operating according to the written schedule.
The dismissed workers, according to the suit, never received reporting time wages for the days on which they reported to work and were immediately sent home.
Moreover, the plaintiff says she noticed in September 2019 that in lieu of paying reporting time wages, Lowe’s had begun applying her sick time and vacation time to days on which she was sent home by the manager. A month earlier, Lowe’s had stopped providing employees with written notice of their accrued and unused vacation time, sick leave and holiday time, the lawsuit alleges.
When a human resource manager visited the Santa Maria store in October 2019, the plaintiff allegedly informed her that the acting store manager had been altering the published schedule without notice, not paying reporting time wages and deducting sick time without employees’ consent or authorization.
Two days later, the plaintiff was terminated by the manager for purportedly failing to follow up with a client in a timely manner, the case says.
The plaintiff claims she later contacted her immediate supervisor and store manager, who were respectively “shocked” and “surprised” to hear she had been terminated. According to the case, however, neither individual took steps to rectify or reverse the plaintiff’s termination.
Citing the California Labor Code, the lawsuit alleges the plaintiff and other hourly employees are owed reporting time wages for days on which they reported to work and were sent home. Under state law, the workers should have been paid for half the usual or scheduled day’s work, but no less than two hours and no more than four hours, at their regular rate of pay, the case says.
Further, the lawsuit alleges that by applying accrued vacation time in lieu of paying reporting time wages, the defendant has unlawfully deducted owed wages from the plaintiff and similarly situated workers in violation of the state’s Labor Code.
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