Wage Suit – Bus Drivers Sue

wage suit - school bus driverSan Francisco bus drivers are fighting a wage suit against First Student, Inc., their employer, who allegedly underpaid them, in a breach of contract. If you find yourself in a similar situation, the assistance of a local employment attorney could prove to be useful.

Wage Suit – The Charges

The lawsuit, Humes v. First Student, Inc.,which was filed in 2015, was recently given a breath of life by the Ninth Circuit, giving the plaintiffs the opportunity to create a class action suit.  According to the Complaint, bus drivers had several issues with the company:

  • They were paid amounts below minimum wage;
  • They were not paid on schedule;
  • They were not provided with accurate statements detailing their hours and wages;
  • They were subject to unfair business practices;
  • Their oral contract was breached.

Details Behind the Wage Dispute

According to a negotiated contract, the bus drivers were promised a minimum number of hours of daily pay regardless of the number of assignments per day.  In other words, drivers were guaranteed a minimum daily wage, whether or not the buses were utilized for the full day. In addition to driving, employees were responsible for cleaning and fueling the buses.  In the event these responsibilities took more time than the hours set, they were to be paid for the additional hours worked.

In 2015, the policy for tracking hours worked changed. Employees were required to track only the hours worked that were beyond regular time. These hours were recorded in what was called an exception log.  Additionally, drivers were expected to complete a formal billing sheet, which was ultimately sent to the school district for billing purposes. Drivers believe that the record keeping led to confusion in the payroll office, resulting in their wage suit for alleged underpayment and check stub errors.

Information Required on Pay Stubs

According to Labor Code 226, particular information must be included on a worker’s pay stub, including:

  • The number of hours the employee worked during the pay period;
  • The gross earnings for the pay period;
  • Deductions from wages;
  • The net earnings for the pay period;
  • The dates of the pay period;
  • The hourly rate of pay.
Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for a wage suite of this nature is just four years. Nonetheless, the court has agreed to hear claims dating back to October of 2011, based on arguments presented by the plaintiff. [Read more…]

California Minimum Wage Hike: Is it Set in Stone?

California Minimum WageCalifornia minimum wage changes. By the year 2022, some California employers will be required to pay their workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour. Governor Jerry Brown announced on March 28, 2016 that he had reached a deal with the state legislature that will gradually increase the state’s minimum wage.

California Minimum Wage – The Specifics

Pursuant to the deal, California’s minimum wage will rise from its current rate of $10 per hour to $10.50 per hour on January 1, 2017, but only for companies with 26 or more employees. It will then climb to $11 per hour for the year of 2018, then to $12 per hour for 2019, then to $13 per hour for 2020, $14 per hour for 2021, and $15 per hour for 2022.

The minimum wage will remain at $10 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees until January 1, 2018. The minimum wage for those companies will climb to $11 per hour for the year of 2019, then to $12 per hour for 2020, $13 per hour for 2021, $14 per hour for 2022, and $15 per hour for 2023.

Is This California Minimum Wage Schedule Certain?

The increases are not guaranteed to take place at these times. As part of the deal, there will be two ways that the increases can be delayed.

The first way is related to the economy. At any point, the governor can “pause” an increase if the state’s economy is bad enough. This can occur if seasonally adjusted statewide job growth has been negative over the past three months, or over the past six months – and if retail sales receipts for the prior 12 months have been negative.

The second way is related to the state’s budget. The governor will be able to pause the increase if at any point in time, the current budget year, or the year after that, or the year after that, is forecasted to be in deficit when the next scheduled increase is taken into account. This is referred to as a “budget off-ramp,” and there is a specification that it may only be used twice.

The deal will also introduce sick leave for in-home supportive services workers. In July 2018, in-home supportive services workers will be guaranteed one sick day. A second sick day will be added in the first July following the implementation of a $13 per hour minimum wage for businesses with 26 or more employees. A third sick day will be added after the minimum wage rises to $15 per hour. [Read more…]


The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and testimonials presented on www.californialaborandemploymentlaw.net or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.