Los Angeles-based SpaceX has closed up a settlement shelling out about $4 million to 4,100 SpaceX employees who alleged in a class action lawsuit that the company did not allow them to take legally-mandated breaks during the workday. According to a report on Inverse.com, workers alleged that the company did this in how it structured their shift patterns.
As a result of this wage violation lawsuit, each worker will get about $500 with the highest payouts coming out to about $2,000 per person. Three different lawsuits were filed between August 2014 and October 2015. They were all grouped together by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. According to this article, both SpaceX and Tesla, owned by Elon Musk, stand out in the tech industry as among the lowest-paying companies to work for.
California Labor Laws
Under California’s labor laws, the general overtime provisions are that a nonexempt employee shall not be made to work more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours in any workweek. Also, an employer is required under the law to provide an employee with a meal break of not less than 30 minutes. A second meal period is required if an employee works more than 10 hours a day.
Why Class Actions Are Significant
State and federal laws require employers to properly compensate employees for the time they’ve worked. In addition, employers are required to pay overtime and provide meal and rest breaks for workers. However, not all employers comply with these regulations. In fact, some employers consistently violate these laws and thereby the rights of their own workers. There are also cases where employers misclassify employees as supervisors (instead of hourly workers) to avoid paying overtime. These are all strategies employers use to cut corners and stay away from paying their workers the wages they rightfully deserve.
Class action lawsuits are a viable option for a large group of workers who are facing unfair treatment as work. The most common example of unfair treatment of workers is when employers deny them wages that are duly earned. Employers may not properly pay their workers the correct minimum wage or expect employees to work during breaks, denying them fair compensation for hours worked. An experienced California employment lawyer will not only help workers fight for their rights, but also ensure that corporations that break the law are held accountable.