Amazon Workers Subjected to Short Lunch Breaks

 

Sealey Warehouse

Amazonians Unite!

A lawsuit was filed in federal court last week against the popular online retailer, Amazon. The details of the suit claim, “company’s workplace policies don’t leave them with reasonable time to eat their lunches”. South Carolina employees state they were required to continue working, even when their scheduled 30 minutes break began. Once they got through the mandatory security screen and sat down with their lunch, they were left with all of 18 minutes or less to enjoy their lunch breaks. The complaint states that workers are unable to have a comfortable mealtime. Read More

Not Just Another Hot Coffee Lawsuit

Shake Shack Burger + Fries

Not just hot coffee this time…

In the past, whenever McDonald’s is involved in a lawsuit, we usually expect it to be because of another victim of their hot coffee. Not this time, “McDonald’s workers in three states filed lawsuits against the fast-food chain this week, saying the company engages in a variety of practices to avoid paying them what they’re owed”. The states involved are California, Michigan, and New York; lawyers targeted McDonald’s because it is an industry leader. The suit mentions a variety of labor violations, which could potentially affect 30,000 employees. The lawsuit seeks back pay and other damages for the affected parties. Read More

Oakland Raiders Accused of Violating Labor Laws

Raiders vs. Ravens

No Cheers for the Oakland Raiders!

The Oakland Raiders are being sued for allegedly violating numerous state labor laws. The suit suggests that the organization withheld pay from the Raiderettes until the end of the season, pays below minimum wage and does not pay for hours worked, while forcing cheerleaders to pay for many of their own business expenses. The lawsuit seeks to be certified as a class action on behalf of all present and former Raiderettes who cheered for the team since 2010, estimated to a total of about 100 women.

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Class-Action: Unpaid Interns Change Their Tune

The Library of Birmingham - signs - Construction Site - Keep Out, by flickr user Elliot Brown, licensed by Creative Commons

Men at work (…for free)

The days of unpaid internships might finally be coming to an end. In what many see as the next chip to fall, Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records are being sued by former interns who were uncommonly compensated for their time at the group. Justin Henry, who worked for Atlantic from 2007-2008, represents the class action lawsuit filed in the state of New York, claiming he was improperly classified as an unpaid intern. Federal labor laws state that Henry was technically an employee and would have him at least making minimum-wage. Interns in this field often worked from 10am-6pm and were sometimes asked to stay later, yet they never received proper compensation. Read more

Celebrity Chef Pays $5.25 Million in Confiscated Tips to Workers

A bowl of delicious spaghetti, by Flickr user "Mortefot", licensed via Creative Commons
A pile of delicious spaghetti (representative of but not actually Batali’s, though)

Celebrity chef Mario Batali has settled with his disgruntled workers over allegations he skimmed 4-5% of servers’ tips at the end of every night at his high-profile restaurants.  The employees claimed that they were not paid overtime when they worked for over 10 hours and that Batali took the tip money to pay the salaries of sommeliers at his other New York restaurants.  The settlement comes in the wake of an overhaul of New York wage laws, which one lawyer connected with the case said made the circumstances “ambiguous”.  Overall, tip-skimming is illegal, and restaurant owners need only follow the guidelines set by the New York legislature to avoid similar lawsuits.

I went to one of these restaurants a few years ago as part of a company morale type of thing at my old job.  The food was pretty good, but not exactly worth the money paid for it.  I guess it’s more about the name at the front of the restaurant than the meal itself.  But anyway, between 20 or so people, the bill turned out to be more than $1,000 with wine and whatnot, if I recall correctly, and probably more knowing my old boss.  A 20% tip on that would be $200, and 5% of that would be $10 going to Batali’s sommeliers.  It seems like a pittance to file a lawsuit over when you look at it localized like this, but compounded over however many hundreds of meals are served per day over five years and between at least eight restaurants, this number becomes astounding.  If the tip-skimming was truly as widespread as the plaintiffs alleged, Batali should be thankful that he only had to pay $5.25 million.

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