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The real reason why Hertz Limited Edition calls you a “manager trainee”: trying to get you to work for free (and not complain) - after all you are going to become a manager one day (NOT!)

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My name is Bill Turley. I am a class action lawyer. I represent workers just like you in wage and hour class action cases. Believe it or not, I am known for being a straight-shooter. I am blunt. I tell like it is.  Just the way I would want it if I hired a lawyer.  If you are a current employee or former employee of Hertz Local Edition - pull up a chair - because here I go again....

Bill Turley - California's Best Wage and Hour Class Action Lawyer


Integrity: doing the right thing for the right reason.
– Bill Turley


Hertz Local Edition California Class Action Lawsuit - Wage Theft

There is a Hertz Local Edition California Class Action filed. One of the causes of action is wage theft. If you have worked for Hertz Local Edition in California, you may be a part of the Hertz Local Edition (HLE) California Class Action.  And if you have worked for HLE - you probably already know about what this Hertz Class Action Lawsuit is about.

 

What is the Hertz Local Edition California Class Action all about?

According to documents filed with the court - here is what Hertz Local Edition California Class Action is all about and/or the allegations in the lawsuit:

 

Hertz is #1

Hertz is probably the most famous rental company in the United States, or for that matter, in the whole world. It is generally agreed Hertz is the largest car rental company. Hertz is number one.  

 

It’s all in what Hertz says your job title is

Instead of calling workers what they really are - Hertz calls their customer service representatives “manager trainees.”

In order to rent cars to customers, Hertz has customer service representatives that work at the counter renting cars to the customers.         

Most all of us have dealt with car rental customer service representatives.  They work the counter and fill out the forms in order for customers to qualify and pay for the car rental. Once the customer fills out the requisite forms - the customer service representative matches the customer to their respective car.  

For many of us that travel or get loaners while our car is being repaired - this is a familiar process.  For all of the car rental companies - including Hertz - these customer service representatives that work at the counter leasing cars are non-exempt employees.

They are front line employees that are the “production” workers for Hertz and other car rental companies. They are paid by the hour.

Only Hertz does not call these employers "customer service representatives."  Instead, Hertz designates them as "manager trainees."  

The real reason why Hertz Limited Edition calls you a “manager trainee”: trying to get you to work for free.

Why Hertz calls you a "manager trainee" as opposed to what you really are: a "customer service representative" - - is at the heart of this wage and hour class action case. From Redding to San Diego (i.e. from one end of California to the other); Hertz uniformly titles their customer service representatives “manager trainees.”
 
Why do you suppose that Hertz calls production customer service representatives “manager trainees?”

After all, how many “chiefs” can an organization like Hertz have?

How many “manager trainees”/customer service representatives actually progress to becoming managers?

The evidence in this case suggests that in many respects Hertz has a uniform carrot and a stick system in place from Redding to San Diego for these front-line production workers.

Hertz tries to get you to believe that you will become a manager one day, so you won’t complain about the understaffing and working off the clock

While Hertz calls customer service representatives “manager trainees” you are not really training to become a manager at all. Instead, this process is a uniform ploy to, in effect, steal wages. Or stated differently, Hertz has a uniform practice of promising their production workers that they can become managers in order to keep down labor costs.

It all comes down to money - Hertz is trying to squeeze profits out of you (and steal your wages).

What you are going to see is that the car rental business is fiercely competitive. Business travelers and customers use the Internet to shop the best prices and get the best deals.

Because these Internet sites make pricing so competitive - car rental companies including Hertz try to make their margins and profits by slicing their labor budgets as much as possible. Hertz is a publicly traded company.  Hertz upper management is under extreme pressure to make a profit.  It is all about quarterly earnings.

All of these competitive factors motivate Hertz to call their customer service representatives “manager trainees.” That is, to cut corners as much as possible on labor budgets in order to improve their bottom lines.

While it may not seem like much to not have to pay for a few extra employees to provide breaks to the manager trainees to take meal breaks and rest breaks at any one location - Hertz has hundreds of locations in California alone.

Hertz has a systematic method of understaffing their rental stores with customer service representatives. The understaffing results in “manager trainees” being encouraged to work while there are off the clock or not take meal periods and/or rest periods at all.     

 

It is all about false hope “You can be a manager one day!”

By designating you with the “manager trainee” job title, Hertz discourages you from complaining about Hertz’s wage and hour violations. This false job title gives you the hope that you will one day become a manager. You don’t want to risk your future as a potential manager by complaining about Hertz’s wage and hour policies and practices.

 

An incentive to forego meal periods and rest periods

Let me regress.  The California Supreme Court case that provides you the right to meal periods and rest breaks in a 2013 case called Brinker vs. Superior Court.  I use the Brinker case all the time to win class action cases. I know the Brinker case very well. I represented the workers in the Brinker case.

The law made in the Brinker case says that the company can’t give you an incentive to forego meal periods and rest breaks. Which ties directly into Hertz’s scheme to get free labor by calling you a manager trainee instead of what you really are - a customer service representative.

In effect, the manager trainee system is a way for Hertz to provide you with an incentive to forego meal periods and rest periods. By dangling the promise of you becoming a manager - Hertz provides you an incentive to forego meal periods and rest periods. After all, this is what managers are expected to do.

 

It all comes down to saving money on payroll - getting free labor           

This carrot and stick system allows Hertz to understaff their locations from Redding to San Diego and literally save millions of dollars each year in payroll costs.  Instead, of providing adequate breaks for the “manager trainees” Hertz realizes a huge savings in payroll by having you work through meal periods and rest periods.          

All of this is under the guise that since you are a “manager trainee” you are, in effect, expected to “take one for the team.”

These uniform practices result in you not getting paid for all time you work and not receiving compliant meal and rest periods, not receiving proper overtime pay, pay check stub violations and waiting time penalties.

 

Status of the case

The case is at the pre-class certification stage.  The court has still not ruled on the merits of the case. You won’t be surprised to hear that Hertz denies each and every allegation as asserted.  

In fact, Hertz hired some really good lawyers to defend the case. Hertz was smart to hire lawyers that are nice and pleasant.  

 

What can I do in order to help?

We would like to hear your take. We are trying to talk to as many Hertz Local Edition workers as possible - both current employees and ex-employees.

The more folks we talk to the better chance we have of winning this case.

 

Death and taxes

However, there are no guarantees in life or law. Other than death and taxes.  No one can guarantee any legal case will be won.  There are any number of reasons why the case won’t be certified and/or won’t be successful.  We have also filed a PAGA case.  

I look forward to hearing from you.

9 Comments:
I was the top salesmen for the company for 9 months I was employed with them. One customer complained that she could not get finance. The company blame me for it by assisting her with the credit app. So they fired me with no warning. I am looking into getting a attorney over wrongful termination charges along with discrimination
Posted by Vw on August 4, 2017 at 12:47 AM
Does any body know the status of this law suit?????
Posted by kamaria pinkney on April 12, 2017 at 01:36 PM
Currently working at hertz and went trough all of this horrible conditions even discrimination. Work 57 hourso a week. When I put pressure on upper management now they hire new body and basically put me in a corner for speaking out. Horrible company to work for on my way out.
Posted by Aj on April 3, 2017 at 11:26 PM
Hertz at Rochester, NY does not give meal break period according to NYS law. It is more of a bit here and there. GOOD CHANCE IT IS PRACTICED Nationwide. Tks, J
Posted by Jill Miller on February 9, 2017 at 03:36 AM
What was the result of the pending class action lawsuit?
Posted by Unkown on January 3, 2017 at 09:07 PM
I worked hertz for hertz for twenty four years in different capacities,the latest on direct payroll for nine years without a review or raise @ twelve an hour in SF bay area all the while being told That I could be a manager trainee but there was never enough time or resources to cover my position as sales and service associate / car washer, car wash maintenance, carwash customer care and also lot maintenance do to my pride in ownership values, I saved them so much money over the years with little recognition, and not just behind the scenes
Posted by Ronald E. Lowe on September 2, 2016 at 09:45 AM
As the above message, I am classed sales and service associate, but function as a utility. Although meal breaks are solid, rest breaks are rarely seen in the 2 years here. Please keep me posted on class action cert. Sorry to use an alias, concern ed about blow back.
Posted by Nor cal worker on July 17, 2016 at 12:31 PM
Does this apply to hertz equipment rental as well?
Posted by Mike on June 7, 2016 at 05:13 PM
I am a current local hertz employee, I'm not a customer service representative but I pretty much play the role. I'm what they call a utility which means I'm suppose to clean the fleet vehicles and give rides to customers. But at this particular location there is very minimal staff and in a year and a half I've gone through 8 different employees 3 of which were Branch managers. The working conditions here are horrible for one it's in an old decrepit falling apart building with all kinds of infestations and rusty hooks and other hazardous working conditions. But to be more relevant to the topic at hand hertz makes there employees work thru breaks and meal periods with out compensation. I worked closely to six months without a real meal break. I was compensated for one month of that time and was told I would be compensated for the rest which has yet to happen. And I was only compensated after going HR which then got our Branch shut down for an hour each day for lunch breaks but up till then it was very difficult to get a lunch break or any break for that matter.
Posted by Ryan McFarland on June 6, 2016 at 04:11 PM

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