On September 17, 2020, a federal judge ruled to allow the continuation of a class-action lawsuit against Quad/Graphics, Inc. and its subsidiary, QG Printing II, LLC.
The judge limited the action but confirmed that the plaintiffs’ complaints are justified under California labor laws.
The initial complaint was filed in May 2018 and included hundreds of non-exempt hourly employees. The plaintiffs accused the printing company of denying employees meal breaks and insufficiently reimbursing employees for required work attire.
The Impact of California Labor Laws on This Case
California legally mandates employers to provide employees who work a shift that lasts longer than six hours a 30-minute meal period by the fifth hour of that shift.
Employers may use a meal period waiver and not allot this break for employees, but the employee must agree to the waiver and be compensated a premium wage for the missed meal period. Also, such a meal period waiver is not allowed if the employee works more than six hours in the shift.
The plaintiffs in the QG case complained that QG did not follow California’s waiver protocol. QG acknowledged its use of meal waivers but claimed it did not violate any labor laws.
Additionally, California labor laws require employers to reimburse employees for “necessary expenditures” required by their position. QG mandates that employees purchase steel-toed work boots and currently reimburses employees up to $50 for the incurred expense.
Plaintiffs argued that $50 is not a substantial compensation, with one employee claiming to have spent $400 on steel-toed boots. The printing company countered that $50 is a suitable stipend for their boot requirements.
The judge’s ruling in September approved the continued investigation of these allegations.
What Is the Status of the Lawsuit?
The Plaintiffs in the QG case initially filed the complaint in California’s Merced County Superior Court. However, the case soon moved to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California due to its complexity. This federal court will oversee the hearings and decide the case.
QG has not indicated whether it plans to settle.
Your Rights as an Hourly Employee in California
You have options if your employer does not follow California labor laws like allowing employees to take off-the-clock breaks. If you believe that your employer violated your rights as their employee, the California class action lawyers at Workplace Rights Law Group can help.
Our team of California employment attorneys has more than 100 years of combined experience recovering compensation for our clients. We have the expertise to help our clients take on companies like QG.
To discuss your case in detail with one of our attorneys, call us at (818) 844-5200 to schedule a free consultation.