Every state is different. In addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which protects employees working throughout the country, each state has their own labor laws that cover employees working within the state. Employers conducting business in the United States need to be sure to abide by both state and federal labor laws. It can be confusing, but employers who allegedly fail to do so can find themselves facing a lawsuit, such as the one SoHo House West Hollywood LLC recently settled.
According to the wage and hour class action lawsuit, the Los Angeles location of the chain of luxury clubs allegedly failed to properly compensate its employees for overtime and missed breaks. Under the FLSA, all hourly non-exempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. The FLSA defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.
In addition to the FLSA, California labor law has its own regulations regarding overtime and mandatory breaks. In California, all hourly employees are entitled to one paid rest break lasting at least ten minutes for every four hours spent working. For every five hours worked, employees are entitled to an unpaid meal break lasting at least half an hour. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of pay, in addition to all wages earned that day.
With all these labor laws, it can be hard for employees to keep track. Many are unaware of overtime mandates and laws regarding breaks. The lawsuit alleges SoHo House failed to inform employees about the mandated breaks, so employees did not take those breaks and were not properly compensated for missing them.
The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges employees regularly performed work off the clock for which they were not paid or they were underpaid. SoHo House also allegedly underpaid employees for any unused personal days.
Despite the fact that SoHo House is a chain of luxury clubs, only the Los Angeles area location is involved the lawsuit. SoHo House continues to deny it has done anything illegal, but it has agreed to settle the lawsuit for $2.8 million.
This is a common resolution for large class action lawsuits, as they can drag on in the courts for years. This wage and hour lawsuit lasted for two years before the parties agreed to a settlement. If they had continued to fight the battle in court, it could have continued on much longer, racking up huge legal costs for both sides. By agreeing to settle, SoHo House gets to avoid a lengthy legal battle in which the court could rule either way.
The plaintiffs likewise benefit from a settlement by avoiding an uncertain ruling. This way, their legal costs are covered and they get the certainty of collecting some money to cover their alleged lost wages.
The settlement covers about 1,250 overtime claims, of which 637 have already been paid.
The Illinois class action attorneys at Nationwide Consumer Rights are investigating unpaid overtime claims against hospitals, senior and assisted living centers and large doctor and dental practices and chains for erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at 630-333-0333 or contact us online by filling in the form at the side of this blog.
The Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers at Nationwide Consumer Rights have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. Our unpaid overtime law firm has a team of Chicago area attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices. We prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Evanston and Northbrook. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Rock Island, Belvedere and Aurora overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
Nationwide Consumer Rights is based in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace. We represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at 630-333-0333 or through our online form.