A lawsuit filed against the Sun-Maid fruit processing company on February 15 claims that the company failed to provide proper wages, overtime, meal and rest breaks to employees at its California plant. The class action complaint, filed by plaintiff and former employee Victor Velasquez, claims that he and other employees were required to work off the clock and denied overtime pay.
Specifically, Sun-Maid required Velasquez to work while clocked out during what was supposed to be his off-duty meal break. Velasquez was from time to time interrupted by work assignments. Indeed, there were many days where Velasquez did not even receive a partial lunch. As a result, Velasquez and other employees forfeited minimum wage and overtime compensation by regularly working without their time being accurately recorded and without compensation at the applicable minimum wage and overtime rates.
The lawsuit also alleges that Sun-Maid failed to reimburse employees for business expenses, particularly for mandated use of personal cell phones for business purposes.
The basis of the complaint alleges that the company pays employees in two components. The first is a base hourly wage, and the second is an incentive wage based on performance requirements. However, according to the lawsuit, Sun-Maid “failed to include the incentive compensation as part of the employees’ ‘regular rate of pay’ for purposes of calculating overtime pay.”
“Sun-Maid systematically failed to correctly calculate and record overtime compensation for overtime worked by the class members, even though the company enjoyed the benefit of this work, required employees to perform this work and permitted this overtime work,” the complaint continued.
The class action suit seeks compensation for losses, a ruling barring such behavior in the future, pre- and post-judgement interest, penalties, costs and attorney fees.
Help with California wage and hour disputes
Wage and hour disputes are unfortunately common in many workplaces. If you are unsure of your rights, it is important to contact a knowledgeable employment attorney for guidance. An employment attorney can help you with questions and concerns about:
- Employment discrimination
- Employee misclassification and contractor disputes
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Overtime claims
- Wage theft
- Wrongful termination
Consulting with an attorney who specializes in employment law ensures the best chance for a successful outcome for your case. The attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas have decades of combined experience protecting the workers of Los Angeles and throughout the state. Get in touch with us today to schedule a remote review of your case. Call 310-474-1582, or reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
Please note that this blog is not to be construed as legal advice. Because every case is fact-specific, you should consult directly with an attorney to obtain legal advice specific to your situation.
For more than three decades, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP has built a reputation as one of California’s leading law firms. Founded by a family of attorneys spanning three generations, John McNicholas and sons, Patrick and Matthew, have tried hundreds of cases to jury verdict on behalf of clients. Learn More about McNicholas & McNicholas