On March 16, 2020, a former Sam’s Club employee initiated a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming that Sam’s Club violated several California labor laws. The plaintiff, Marie T., worked as a cashier at a Sam’s Club in El Monte, California, for two years.
In her lawsuit, Marie claims that Sam’s Club failed to pay her and her colleagues fully. Specifically, Marie asserts that she did not receive payment by Sam’s Club for doing “off-the-clock” work.
One of her frequent “off-the-clock” work duties was a security bag search. During these searches, the Plaintiff and other employees had to have their bags and coasts searched. The checks occurred whenever the employees took a meal break, a rest break, or clocked out of their shifts. Each security bag search lasted about 30 seconds.
However, these security checks collectively amount to a significant amount of time when multiplied over weeks and months.
Marie T. also alleged that Sam’s Club failed to give her and other employees accurate itemized wage statements and adequate seating.
California Legal Standards for Off-the-Clock Work
Federal labor law does not require employers to pay their employees for working a short time beyond their scheduled hours.
However, California has adopted a stricter standard. In the 2018 case Troester v. Starbucks, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously that Starbucks was required to pay its employees for regular daily assignments that were off the clock, even if each individual assignment was brief.
As Justice Goodwin Liu stated in the case, California labor law “contemplates that employees will be paid for all time performed.” Liu further stated that each worker’s claims for off-the-clock work could “be aggregated to vindicate an important public policy.”
In 2020, the California Supreme Court ruling extended this principle specifically to security bag checks. In Frlekin v. Apple, Inc, the court found that Apple had to pay its employees for daily security bag checks.
Each security bag check lasted at least several minutes. The Court determined that because the searches were required, occurred at the workplace, and benefited Apple, the employees had to be compensated.
Thanks to these rulings, employees who have been deprived of pay for small, daily assignments could receive significant compensation.
Contact Our California Employment Attorneys
When a group of employees brings a common claim against their employer, a class-action lawsuit results. These kinds of lawsuits help ensure that the employer follows the law. Class-action lawsuits also compensate the employees for their losses.
If you are a current or former employee of Sam’s Club and want to join the class-action lawsuit against the company, you need to contact a dedicated California class-action lawsuit firm.
Here at Workplace Rights Law Group, we put quality over quantity. We’ll never compromise our high standards just to take on more cases. Instead, we take a personalized approach for every one of our cases to achieve the best results.
Finally, we have over 75 years of experience in employment law, and we’ve recovered millions for our clients. Don’t wait. Reach out to us today to schedule a free initial consultation.