A proposed class action claims Kone Inc. has both failed to pay employees for off-the-clock work and miscalculated their time-and-a-half overtime wages.
According to the lawsuit, Kone owes employees for time spent working off the clock during meal and rest breaks, and unlawfully left out non-discretionary incentive pay from their regular hourly rates when calculating overtime wages.
Kone, which provides elevators, escalators, automatic building doors and solutions for maintenance and modernization, did not have in place “an immutable timekeeping system” to accurately record workers’ hours, the case alleges. Per the suit, the defendant unilaterally modified employees’ time records to avoid paying proper wages and penalties for missed meal and rest breaks. As a result, workers were not properly paid both when they were interrupted from their off-the-clock meal and rest breaks or were unable to take breaks due to their “rigorous work schedule,” the lawsuit says.
Aside from failing to pay employees for off-the-clock work, Kone further overstepped state labor law requirements by not providing workers with off-duty 30-minute meal breaks and 10-minute rest breaks or premium compensation in lieu thereof, the lawsuit claims. Per the suit, the defendant unlawfully restricted workers by not allowing them to leave the work premises during rest breaks.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that Kone failed to pay employees proper overtime wages in that it did not include wages earned through an incentive program as part of the workers’ regular rates of pay when calculating their time-and-a-half rates. According to the suit, this practice caused workers to be paid at a lower overtime rate than they were owed under California law.
Finally, the plaintiff, who worked in a mechanic position for the defendant, says Kone unlawfully retaliated against him for complaining about inadequate safety measures. The complaint says the plaintiff informed Kone in March 2020 that the company had failed to maintain standard safety measures at job sites and on work machinery, which placed him “in a constant risk of harm” while performing his job duties. Per the case, Kone took no action to correct the issues but instead retaliated against the plaintiff by removing him from the job site and demoting him to a helper position that paid less.
Initially filed in San Francisco County Superior Court in November 2020, the lawsuit was removed to California’s Northern District Court on February 4, 2021.
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