$7.5 Million Comcast Wage Lawsuit Settlement

comcast wage lawsuit settlementComcast wage lawsuit settlement. On the heels of two years of litigation between Comcast/O.C. Communications and roughly 4,500 technicians, a class action suit was settled for $7.5 million plus litigation fees. The battle was over failure to pay workers for all of their hours, failure to pay for piecework, neglecting to pay overtime, and, in some cases, refusing to pay minimum wage. If you have experienced similar problems in the workplace, an efficient and knowledgeable labor law attorney may be able to help. 

Details of the Comcast Wage and Hour Lawsuit Case

According to the wage lawsuit settlement records, O.C. Communications, who teamed up with Comcast Cable Communications Management, hired a number of non-exempt cable technicians to install and maintain cable connections. The workers claimed that they were not paid for rest and/or meal breaks. In addition, they were not reimbursed after submitting detailed expense reports. These claims of underpayment were compounded by the assertion that workers’ wage statements were neither itemized nor accurate.  

Workers shared personal accounts to illustrate the problems:

  • One employee was assigned four times his normal workload one day. His boss told him to eat his lunch while driving from one installation site to another, and get the job done without taking breaks;
  • Another employee was required to supply his own tools and supplies, including everything from screwdrivers and staple guns to various types of cable and drill bits.  This, in addition to work boots and pants.
  • One former employee asserted that working conditions were often unsafe, saying that typically workers might climb 28-ft. ladders and shimmy through confined spaces like attics all in the same day. Oftentimes, buildings were rat-infested and crawl spaces were littered with rat feces. Nonetheless, workers were not given protective equipment.
  • Mandated overtime was the biggest complaint for another employee, who said 12-hour days were the norm, adding up to 60-hour work weeks on a regular basis.

Reaching a Settlement

The court refused to sanction the original settlement agreement for a number of reasons:

  • Judge Chhabria believed the claims to hold “substantial merit,” and the labor code violations appeared to be a systemic problem for the defendants.
  • The settlement involved an amount that was well below what employees were entitled to, and the judge was reluctant to give the companies such a big break unless there was evidence that their business practices would be brought into compliance with Labor Codes.

Ultimately, the parties did settle, and the $7.5 million will be divided among the 4,500 workers who formulated the class action. [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…]

Disclaimer

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.