Employment laws are in place to protect workers while also fostering a healthy, safe and fair business environment. California has laws in place which all employers must adhere to in order to avoid facing monetary fines and potentially criminal penalties. Some of these regulations have to do with how much an employer is allowed to require an employee to work before paying overtime. Unfortunately, one employer in California may have failed to follow these guidelines and now faces an employment class action lawsuit.

The class action lawsuit was filed by three employees of a newspaper company. The complaint alleges that the company required the employees to work more than eight hours on a daily basis. They also claimed that the company scheduled them to work for more than 40 hours in one week. However, despite this, the employer did not pay overtime for the extra time worked.

Along with the excessive work time without overtime pay, which is required by law, the employer also did not provide adequate breaks for meals and rest, according to the complaint filed by the newspaper employees. The employees also claim they were not given accurate wage statements. The complaint also alleges that wages were not promptly paid after an employee was terminated. After the district court acknowledged the complaint as a class action, the jury granted the plaintiffs $2.5 million in monetary reimbursement.

However, after the case reached the Supreme Court, the court sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in order to reconsider a recent Supreme Court decision involving Wal-Mart employees, which had a defined class of 1.5 million former and current female store employees. The federal appeals court in California is now being asked to reexamine the defined class in the employment class action lawsuit filed by the newspaper workers. This means that litigation is not over for this case and that further legal arguments from both sides must be presented in court.

Source: hr.blr.com, “Newspaper workers file class action overtime suit,” April 16, 2013