California metal manufacturing companies require a great deal of physical labor and technical skill from workers. These metal manufacturing companies make millions in profits every year. Unfortunately, many metal manufacturing employers add to their profits by not following the wage laws in the California Labor Code and California Wage Orders.
When this happens, you have the right to sue an employer for unpaid wages as well as interest and waiting time penalties.
Recent Unpaid Wage Claims Against Metal Manufacturers
In the majority of wage claims, employers make money by skimming a few dollars off of each employee’s wages every week—adding up to several thousand dollars for the employer every year. When multiple employees are affected by a labor violation, employees can band together and file a class action lawsuit to recover lost wages and penalties.
California metal manufacturing companies are required to follow the wages, hours and working conditions as mandated by California Wage Order No. 1 - for the manufacturing industry.
It seems that sometimes the best way to explain California wage law is to go over a case study, so you can see how California's strict wage laws work in the real world.
A case study - a California metal manufacturing company - doesn't pay for all time worked, and doesn't provide legal meal breaks & rest breaks
You’re under the control of the employer while you are going through security, walking to the time clock and/or waiting to clock in
Am I supposed to be paid in California when go through the security check line, walk to the time clock and/or wait at the time clock before I clock in?
There are three main sources of California employment law - the California Wage Orders and the California Labor Code and the California Courts enforcing these laws. Under the California Wage Orders, employees must be paid for all time worked.
Putting aside the all the great substantive law to protect California workers that has came out of the landmark California Supreme Court case - Brinker vs. Superior Court, the Brinker case is all about enforcing California’s strong worker protection laws.
One of the worker protection concepts in the Brinker decision is:
Brinker v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004, 1026-1027.
Why is Bill Turley asked to testify concerning wage law legislation at the California State Senate and the California Assembly?
A No B.S. straight-shooter lawyer
It is not illegal under California law for your employer to force you to go through a security check and/or a bag check when you enter and leave the workplace
Why the metal manufacturing company fails to provide meal breaks
1. Relieves its employees of all duty,
2. Relinquishes control over their activities
3. Permits them a reasonable opportunity to take an uninterrupted 30-minute break
4. Does not impede or discourage them from doing so.
Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court 53 Cal. 4th 1004, 1038-40 (2012).
What if the workers didn’t actually leave the facility for lunch?
The workers are entitled to an hour’s pay for every missed meal period
What if I have to go through security during my rest breaks, is this against California law?
3.5 hours rest break
6 hours rest break
10 hours rest break
12 hours rest break
14 hours rest break
If part of your 10 minute rest break is spent waiting in security line and/or a bag check; then under California law, you didn’t receive your 10 minute rest break.
In the Troester case, the court cited the Brinker California Supreme Court case and the Augustus vs. ABM California Supreme Court case. I represented the workers in the Brinker case and I wrote the winning Supreme Court brief in the Augustus case, thus I know both of these cases very well.
The Troester court stated:
Augustus vs. ABM Security, though addressing a different issue, is instructive in two respects. First, although the de minimis principle was not explicitly invoked, we implicitly rejected the argument that a de minimis intrusion into a 10-minute rest period would pass muster under the statute. Second, the strict construction of a law prohibiting any interference with or reduction of a 10-minute rest break is difficult to reconcile with a rule that would regard a few minutes of compensable time per day as a trifle not requiring compensation if too inconvenient to record.
Troester v. Starbucks Corp. (2018) 5 Cal.5th 829, 844-845.
Thus, the Brinker, Augustus and Troester California Supreme Court cases are very clear, if you have to spend one minute (or even less) of your 10 minute rest period in a security check or bag check, then you didn’t receive your 10 minute rest break under California law.
The workers are entitled to an hour’s pay for every missed meal period
Payment for all time worked
Why the workers are also owed for paycheck stub violations (up to $4,000)
These 226 penalties are up to $4,000.
Why the workers are also owed waiting time penalties
For example, if they made $22 an hour their waiting time penalties are as follows:
Some recent class action lawsuits against metal manufacturers
In the past few years, several class action wage lawsuits have been filed against metal manufacturers, including:
- Universal Alloy Corp. In 2014, California manufacturing plant Universal Alloy Corp settled an unpaid wage claim for $4.75M, distributing back pay to over 770 workers. The company, which creates alloys for the airline industry, was accused of failing to pay overtime and minimum wage in violation of California labor law as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The settlement was split between workers at the company’s Georgia headquarters and employees at the Anaheim facility.
- Airway Sheet Metal. In April 2019, Airway Sheet Metal Co., Inc., agreed to pay $110,548.20 in unpaid wages to 40 sheet metal workers in Washington DC after an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found evidence that Airway neglected to pay proper overtime rates and sick leave to workers. The case represents the OAG’s largest recovery to date in a wage-enforcement action, returning an average of $2,764 to each affected worker. As part of the settlement, Airway will also pay the District of Columbia $5,000 toward the city’s costs of pursuing the case and implement compliance measures within 60 days to ensure no further violations of the District’s Minimum Wage Act and Sick and Safe Leave Act.
- Metal Technologies. A judge granted class-action status to a wage lawsuit in 2016 involving the manufacturer of automobile parts used by General Motors, Chrysler, Hyundai, and Honda. The Indiana-based manufacturing facility allegedly violated federal and state labor laws by changing employees’ payroll records to pay them only for their scheduled hours of work, illegally deducting wages to pay for work uniforms, and treating lunch breaks of twenty minutes or less as unpaid time.
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This article isn't legal advice
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, photos and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why class actions are not certified, not won and/or PAGA actions are not successful.