A class action lawsuit filed against Zillow two years ago alleging unfair labor practices has come a full circle as the company settled it for $6 million. According to a news report, the real estate company announced through a filing that it would settle the lawsuit filed by former inside sales consultant Ian Freeman. The complaint alleged that Zillow engaged in illegal practices to “circumvent federal and state laws” to maximize profits by exploiting and intimidating its employees to miss meal breaks, rest breaks and work overtime without proper compensation.
Violation of Labor Laws
The lawsuit accused Zillow of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law with respect to certain inside sales consultants. The case was certified as a class action lawsuit in February 2016 opening the door for other former Zillow employees to join in. The settlement came only after the Department of Labor conducted a separate review of Zillow’s labor practices. The company has not admitted liability but has said it will establish and maintain certain procedures to promote compliance with the state’s labor laws. This is not the first legal issue Zillow has settled recently. In May, the company settled four lawsuits that accused it of harassment and discrimination.
California Wage and Hour Laws
Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked covering issues such such as minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked and so on. The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. California has its own set of wage and hour laws as do some local governments such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. An employer who is subject to more than one of these wage laws must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, but employers in California must pay the higher $10 amount.
In California, eligible employees must receive overtime if they work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. After working 12 hours in a day, they must receive double time. Workers are also entitled to a meal break of 30 minutes after five hours unless they have a six-hour workday.
Protecting Your Rights
If your rights have been violated or if your employer is refusing to pay you due wages, it is important that you contact an experienced California employment lawyer who will fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation your rightfully deserve.