Warehouse workers in Illinois have recently settled a collective and class action lawsuit accusing a logistics company for unpaid wages. The lawsuit, which was originally filed mid 2020 against Pinnacle, brought wage claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (“IMWL”), the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”), the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (“MWHL”) and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“MWPCL”). The $3.25 million settlement will resolve claims of unpaid overtime for over 5,000 employees that worked for Pinnacle for at least the last three years prior to when this case was filed through to final judgment date in this matter.
The original lawsuit alleged that hourly warehouse workers were victims of consistent meal breaks violations and overtime miscalculations. Specifically, Pinnacle was accused of implementing company-wide policies that automatically deducted thirty minutes or one hour of pay for “meal breaks” despite warehouse workers having to work through most if not all of these rest periods. Additionally, affected employees claimed that the company failed to include compensation for weekends shifts and nightshift differentials in their regular rate of pay before correctly calculating their overtime pay. The FLSA requires taking into account all forms of remuneration when determining a worker’s ‘regular rate’ of pay. If working an additional shift comes at a higher hourly rate and is still less than time and one-half your normal rate, it must be included when determining the employee’s regular rate of pay and cannot be credited toward statutory overtime due. In this case, these alleged violations caused improper payment of straight time for all hours worked and overtime wages at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for hours when working over forty hours per week.
It is not uncommon to experience some sort of wage violation in the labor industry. Working while off the clock and miscalculations of overtime rates are just a few of the common violations seen in this industry. If you have questions about your pay structure do not hesitate to contact an employment attorney to have them review your paystubs. Our employment law firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, offers a free and confidential phone consultation to review your potential claims. You can reach us at (212)300-0375 or visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your rights.