A former Lagunitas Brewing Company employee claims in a proposed class action that the craft brewery has violated several provisions of California’s Labor Code.
The 37-page lawsuit out of California alleges that Lagunitas Brewing Company failed to provide workers required meal and rest breaks, proper wages for missed breaks, proper minimum and overtime wages, compensation for off-the-clock work and reimbursement for using their personal cell phones for work-related tasks.
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According to the suit, the plaintiff and similarly situated employees often had to forfeit their uninterrupted, 30-minute meal breaks due to Lagunitas’ “rigorous work requirements” and “inadequate staffing practices.” According to the case, California law requires that workers are provided an off-duty meal break when they work more than five hours and a second meal break when they work more than 10 hours.
Moreover, the suit alleges, employees were often denied a 10-minute rest break during a four-hour shift, two breaks during a six- to eight-hour shift and three breaks during shifts that lasted 10 or more hours. The complaint argues that when employees were granted breaks, they were required to remain on duty or on call from time to time.
The plaintiff demands one hour of pay for each workday in which he was not provided a proper meal or rest break, the case says.
Employees were also asked to work off the clock before and after their shifts to meet Lagunitas’ “strict requirements” or to undergo pre-shift COVID-19 health screenings for which they received no pay, the complaint alleges.
The case goes on to claim that Lagunitas uses an “unlawful rounding policy” that fails to accurately record the hours worked by each employee and results in workers being paid for fewer hours than they actually worked. The suit further charges that Lagunitas systematically underpaid workers for their overtime and double-time hours, meal and rest period premiums and sick pay by failing to accurately include in employees’ “regular rate of pay” non-discretionary bonus compensation, which is incentive pay based on workers’ ability to meet certain performance goals.
As the filing tells it, Lagunitas also kept or improperly distributed portions of its workers’ tips even though California law states that workers are entitled to the total proceeds of gratuities and minimum and overtime compensation.
Per the complaint, Lagunitas has failed to provide employees with accurate wage statements, in further violation of California’s Labor Code.
Finally, the plaintiff claims that Lagunitas has unlawfully deducted wages, such as 401(k) contributions, from his and other employees’ pay without explanation or permission.
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone who is or previously was employed by Lagunitas Brewing Company in California and classified as a non-exempt employee within the past four years.
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