Calling All RSA’s, Detailers & Merchandisers: Your Employer Could Be Ripping You Off

by Norman B. Blumenthal on November 20, 2013

There are a large number of workers in our society who are relied upon to deliver & stock major brand-name goods. Unconventional schedules and work hours often lead to missed lunch or rest breaks, and a failure to be properly compensated for overtime work. Sound familiar? For private sector jobs in the state of California, all non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for any hours exceeding 8 hours in one workday and 40 hours in one workweek.

RSA Stocking Goods

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, CA law requires an unpaid lunch break of at least 30 minutes for any shift greater than 6 hours. There are a few caveats to complicate matters further; shifts in between 5 and 6 hours are required to contain a half hour unpaid meal break, except when the employee provides a voluntary, written consent to skip the break. On-duty meals, or “working lunches” are permitted if both employee and employer have a mutual written agreement, and time must be included in hours worked. For both of these situations, the employee may revoke the agreement at any time.

Of course, not everyone in our great state manages to follow labor laws as closely as they should. One such allegation was recently brought up against Frito-Lay for failing to pay overtime, and denying proper meal and rest breaks. The employees in question: Route Sales Associates (“RSA’s”), detailers & merchandisers who are responsible for selling, delivering and stocking Frito-Lay products at various locations.

It is estimated that over 4,000 employees were affected by these alleged failures since 2007, resulting in a settlement of $1.6 Million dollars to be paid by Frito-Lay. The claim very specifically accuses the junk food goliath of illicitly fluctuating workweek schedules to avoid overtime pay for RSA’s. It goes on to claim that merchandisers and detailers in charge of store displays were not given lunch or rest breaks due to scheduling restrictions. Although Frito-Lay denied the allegations, their massive settlement begs to differ.

If this sounds familiar to a situation you or a friend are currently in, contact the employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik for a free consultation. You may qualify for unpaid wages… you may be getting ripped off.

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