Non-Exempt Hourly Employees Hit California’s Alpha Respiratory with Overtime Lawsuit

by Norman B. Blumenthal on September 21, 2016

blumenthal nordrehaug & bhowmik, southern california employment law, southern california employment law attorneys, labor code violations, overtime lawsuit, non-exempt hourly employees, overtime pay violationsNews out of Riverside, California is taking notice of an overtime lawsuit filed by California workers. Non-exempt hourly employees in California, working for Alpha Respiratory and Lincare have received approval to proceed with their lawsuit with class action status. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California approved the class action status in an August 10, 2016 ruling.

The judge that issued the ruling was Honorable Judge Morrison England. The judge ruled that the non-exempt employees of both Alpha Respiratory and Lincare who were employed in the state of California between the dates of October 21, 2016 until the date of the ruling could seek back overtime wages and premiums for missed meal breaks.

Non-Exempt Employees: This phrase is used when referencing employees who are, specifically, entitled to overtime pay according to guidelines set down in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers must pay non-exempt employees one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay when they work over 40 hours in one week.

Overtime Wages: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains the federal overtime provisions and regulations. Unless and employee is exempt, they are a “non-exempt employee.” All non-exempt employees covered by the Act MUST receive overtime pay for any hours they work in excess of 40 in one workweek at a rate that is not less than time plus one-half their regular rate of pay for the job performed. The additional rate of pay in combination with the number of hours worked over the “full time workweek” of 40 hours results in overtime wages.

Meal Breaks: Meal and rest break requirements result in a high number of employment law violations that lead to litigation. In order to be in compliance with the law, California employers must make a good faith effort to communicate the legal requirements of California’s employee break laws to their non-exempt employees. They must also provide their non-exempt employees with the opportunity to take their legally mandated meal and rest breaks.

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik filed the original lawsuit in October of 2014 including plaintiffs’ allegations that the companies listed (Lincare and Alpha Respiratory) failed to comply with employment law and cited multiple allegations of labor law violations, including: failure to pay hourly employees overtime wages, failure to provide legally mandated meal and rest breaks, and failure to provide accurate wage statements (as required by California state labor law). As the class action status has been approved, qualifying individuals will be notified in the coming months of their rights pertaining to the suit.

If you have questions about achieving class action status or if you need to discuss labor law violations, we are ready to assist you! Call Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today.

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