$5 Million Settlement Reached in PepsiCo Wage Theft Lawsuit
Truck drivers who filed a class action wage lawsuit against PepsiCo are waiting for approval of a preliminary $5 million settlement. If the settlement is approved, PepsiCo will pay $5 million for failure to pay overtime and work done during lunch and rest breaks. The payment will cover 1,800 drivers employed between Jan. 25, 2013 and the date the court issues an order approving the settlement. If each class member participates in the settlement, each driver will get an average of nearly $2,000.
Lawsuit Alleged Several Violations
The lawsuit was filed on March 6, 2017 alleging that the company failed to compensate truck drivers for time worked including lunch breaks, rest breaks and overtime. The lawsuit alleged that PepsiCo had a consistent practice of clocking out drivers for 30-minute meal periods even though drivers often worked through these periods. The drivers, who were paid hourly, were also required to work for more than four hours without a 10-minute rest period, which is a violation of California’s labor laws.
State law also mandates employers to pay workers one hour of pay for each day a rest period is not provided, something the lawsuit says PepsiCo did not do. Also, the lawsuit states that PepsiCo failed to pay wages owed to drivers who left the company or were terminated, in a timely manner. In addition to all this, the complaint also states that the company failed to reimburse drivers for the use of cell phones for work duties.
Protecting Workers’ Rights
Employers in California are required to follow state and federal wage and hour laws. California has also approved a gradual increase to the minimum wage based on employer size. This year, the minimum wage is $10.50 for employers with up to 25 employees and $11 for employers with 26 or more employees. In 2019, that will increase to $11 for smaller employers and $12 for larger employers. These yearly increases will continue until the year 2023 when all employers must pay a minimum wage of $15.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you due wages or if you did not receive payment in a timely manner after you quit your job or were terminated, you may be able to file a California employment lawsuit seeking compensation for back wages and other losses. It would be in your best interest to keep a good record of your hours worked and what you weren’t paid, and contact an experienced employment lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and best interests.