The Giant Company LLC is among the latest Kronos clients to be hit with a proposed class and collective action in the wake of a late-2021 data breach that crippled the supermarket operator’s timekeeping system.
According to the 30-page lawsuit, Giant has failed to properly keep track of employees’ work hours—and pay them accordingly—ever since a December 11, 2021 ransomware attack on Kronos, Giant’s third-party payroll vendor. The case alleges Giant has instead based employees’ work hours, and thus their wages, on prior pay periods or outright underestimated their wages in order to avoid paying overtime.
According to the suit, Giant’s failure to properly pay employees has placed the burden of the Kronos data breach on “front-line workers—average Americans—who rely on the full and timely payment of their wages to make ends meet.”
“Instead of paying [the plaintiffs] for the hours they actually worked (including overtime hours), The Giant Company simply paid based on estimates of time or pay, or based upon arbitrary calculations and considerations other than their actual hours worked and regular pay rates,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit argues that Giant, a supermarket chain who operates stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, could have easily implemented a way to track workers’ hours after Kronos, its timekeeping system, was rendered inoperable in December 2021 due to a data breach. The defendant has nevertheless failed to do so, the case says, and has instead paid workers based on prior pay periods or “arbitrary” estimates of how many hours they worked.
The plaintiffs, who have worked for Giant since May 2012 and December 2021, respectively, claim that even when Giant paid them for overtime hours, they were not paid at the proper rate of one-and-one-half times their regular hourly rate, including shift differentials and non-discretionary bonuses.
The lawsuit argues that Giant could have implemented “any number of methods” to accurately track workers’ hours, including overtime, yet “chose not to do so.”
“In other words,” the complaint reads, “The Giant Company pushed the effects of the Kronos hack onto the backs of its most economically vulnerable workers, making sure that it kept the money owed to those employees in its own pockets, rather than take steps to make sure its employees were paid on time and in full for the work they did.”
The lawsuit looks to cover current or former hourly and salaried employees of The Giant Company who were non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and worked for Giant in the U.S. at any time since the onset of the Kronos ransomware attack around December 11, 2021 to the present.
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