Getting paid for providing work or a service is a fundamental part of employment. These days however, it is not uncommon for employers to cut corners, and as a result, employees usually suffer the consequences. Fortunately, wage and hour law protects employees in California. These laws state that workers must be paid appropriately for the work they provide and must also be given rest and meal breaks when working a certain number of hours.
Several employees of the popular retailer Ikea filed a class action lawsuit against the company over allegations that they were not allowed proper rest breaks, among other claims. According to the lawsuit, the company told employees they could only take meal breaks in their on-campus cafe or other designated areas. Allegedly, employees were also required to stay on the premises during paid rest breaks.
The lawsuit also said Ikea did not pay wages owed in a timely manner and did not provide accurate wage statements. According to the California Supreme Court, employers must give up control over how workers spend their time during meal breaks. Reportedly, Ikea recently agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle the class action lawsuit.
This particular case dealt with California law, which is usually more generous to workers than federal law. California’s wage and hour law says that employers must give workers at least one 10-minute break for every four hours worked. Employees in California who feel that they have been subjected to unfair acts may want to consider discussions with an attorney experienced in employment law. A successful claim could provide compensation to replace lost wages and other monetary losses.