The Phelps Law Group
Company names have been withheld due to privacy clauses in settlement agreements.
Meal and rest periods were not provided to thousands of checkers, counter workers, and other hourly employees.
Employees were required by the employer to call in for scheduled shifts on the same day to see whether or not they were supposed to come into work. We argued that this practice violated the law because it restricted employees from making plans, throwing their schedules out of whack at the whim of their employer. In the event that the employer chose to schedule these “call ins,” it should have paid the employees a premium wage to compensate them for it. Subsequent to the filing of our lawsuit, this large, publicly traded corporation (and others like it) discontinued the practice of scheduling call in shifts, saving hundreds of thousands of young workers from dealing with this predatory scheduling practice.
Financial Services Company
Mortgage agents were required to meet unrealistic loan quotas, resulting in overtime work that they weren't paid for. Additionally, these agents took on assistants to help shoulder the workload -- but the company did not pay those salaries, as was its obligation. This case is another prime example of the drive for corporate profits resulting in pressures on employees to complete an impossible workload within business hours.
Software engineers were misclassified as "exempt" from overtime, meaning that they were paid salary when they should have been paid hourly yet worked long hours. This settlement greatly benefited a tight knit group of overworked, underpaid employees.
Retail Banking Chain
Tellers were not paid for time spent opening and closing bank branches, and were called back to work during breaks.
Fast Food Franchise
Servers performed sidework after clocking out and didn't receive breaks due to customer rushes at this major burger chain.
Pizza Chain Franchises
Delivery drivers and other workers were denied breaks and shortchanged on their wages. Because franchises are generally operated by a single owner, wage law compliance is sometimes less (and more disorganized) than when a major corporation with a dedicated Human Resources and Legal Department is involved.
Airport Service Provider
Gate agents at the Los Angeles International Airport worked off the clock and missed breaks; the lawsuit provided them with relief for these practices.
Truck Stop Chain
Relief was provided to truck stop workers at major chain which services professional drivers and highway travellers for missed breaks, which happened due to improper training of managers and managers' practice of adjusting employees' time records to show that breaks were taken that in fact were not.
Systems engineers who engaged primarily in validation and testing were incorrectly paid on a salary basis. Therefore, the lawsuit allowed them to recover overtime that they should have been paid due to their job duties (the employees were allegedly "misclassified," meaning that they were incorrectly paid salary instead of hourly because their job duties weren't advanced enough -- and were then made to work long hours, for which they received no compensation). As a cost cutting measure, employers, particularly in the tech space, frequently pay salary and thereby get away with working engineers long hours and not paying them extra for the overtime..
Workers at NFL stadiums, convention centers and golf courses were not paid for time standing in security lines, and missed breaks due to lack of relief. Employers often cut costs by understaffing, leaving no relief for employees so that breaks need to be missed. And, while waiting in line to pass through a metal detector doesn't seem like "work," the employer is requiring it so the time must be paid for.
$1,300,000 plus alternate compensation
Brokers' Assistants were not paid extra for overtime and were denied breaks. Managers often face intense pressure from their employer for increased results and one of the first ways they do it is by overworking their subordinates. Hours therefore go up, but workload and expectations do not go down. This case involved assistants being overloaded with work by their bosses, and therefore having to work off the clock and take "working lunches" to get it done. Here, the employees also recovered off days and other compensation other than money that we negotiated with the goal of improving their quality of life.
Servers at high end restaurants performed sidework after clocking out, were required to provide their own uniforms, and didn't receive breaks due to customer rushes.
Major designer of women's activewear failed to provide meal and rest periods to hourly employees.
The firm entered into a long list of individual settlements on behalf of clients who worked on the sales floor at a discount clothing chain. The employees were not provided with breaks and were shorted on wages. Some cases, such as this one, begin as class actions but evolve to become many individual cases where clients are represented separately. Oftentimes, it is more cost effective for the employer simply to settle for the whole class of workers than to pay multiple employees separately.
Drivers were denied breaks and worked off the clock. Professions like these, which require employees to be on call, or at the ready, to respond to emergencies often do not pay for time spent waiting for a call -- as they are legally required to.
Female employee was continually propositioned by her direct supervisor. When she declined his advances, the pressures increased to a physically dangerous situation. The supervisor was married yet had a history of preying on his employees.
Customer Service Provider
Employee with years of seniority and experience was suddenly let go when the company believed that his medical condition prevented him from doing the job. Employers cannot take action against employees because of a disability or disease. Even where the company thinks that the condition prevents the employee from doing his/her job, it needs to look for other positions for them that they are able to perform.
$52,500 plus alternate compensation
Employee experienced race discrimination which included multiple offensive, harassing comments made by superiors.
$33,000 and $26,000
Employees were shorted on commissions and missed breaks. Cases often arise in the mortgage industry that involve commission or wage raiding by companies against their agents. The industry tends to be poorly regulated and abuses are common. Cases involving wage and hour violations are generally brought as class actions, but individual actions can be pursued as well.
Machinist employee was wrongfully terminated after he began experiencing breathing problems due to fumes in the air at the plant.
Lawsuits are currently pending in different industries alleging that employees were wrongfully terminated from their jobs.
Wage and Hour
Lawsuits are currently pending alleging that employees were not paid for all hours worked (worked off the clock), missed breaks, were not paid for overtime worked, and were not paid for call in shifts. Cases are both in the discovery stage and have settled and are awaiting settlement approval from the courts.
Bank Fee Cases
Lawsuits are currently pending in which it is alleged that banks took advantage of their customers by reordering debit card and ATM transactions to overdraw accounts so that multiple overdraft fees could be charged. These violations are commonplace. While most cases against major banks have resolved, regional banks continue to violate the law.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Lawsuits are currently pending alleging that individuals were called using automated telephone dialing systems without their consent. Typically, these cases are brought against collection agencies or telemarketers.