Former technician Yadir Ontiveros has filed a state class action lawsuit against Safelite Fulfillment, Safelite Group and Safelite Glass Corp. in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, alleging Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations stemming from Safelite’s pay-per-piece program.
Ontiveros says he was hired by Safelite as a non-exempt employee at a warehouse in Ontario, Calif., in August 2009. In March 2013, he was promoted to technician trainee, and Ontiveros says he became a technician in September 2013 after transferring to Glendora, Calif.
“At all times while employed as a technician, plaintiff has been paid on a piece-rate basis, whereby plaintiff is paid a certain rate per installation or repair completed,” Ontiveros’ attorney alleges in the court documents. “Despite the fact that plaintiff records his actual hours worked pursuant to company policy, wages earned for these hours worked are treated as an advance against plaintiff’s piece-rate earnings, as only those piece-rate earnings in excess of the hourly wages are paid out as piece-rate earnings. However, plaintiff and other technicians are pressured and encouraged through various productivity rankings to be highly productive, which results from having a high number of installs per day. As a result, plaintiff and technicians almost never have piece-rate earnings that do not exceed their hourly wages, and their wages are almost always equal to their piece-rate earnings.
“Because defendants’ pay system is simply a subterfuge for a piece-rate compensation system, plaintiff and other technicians are not separately compensated for time spent working on tasks which are not compensated on a piece-rate basis, including hours spent cleaning and maintaining tools, performing administrative tasks, attending mandatory meetings, or travelling to and from jobsites,” allege the court documents. “As a result, plaintiff was not paid at least the minimum wage for all hours actually worked, and was not credited with all overtime hours actually worked.”
Ontiveros’ attorney also alleges Safelite made “unlawful deductions from plaintiff’s earned wages in the event that a customer makes a warranty claim on an item installed by plaintiff.” The attorney argues that the job duties were already performed, therefore Ontiveros was entitled to those wages.
The attorney also claims Safelite failed to “maintain lawful meal and rest break policies.”
“Defendants maintain inaccurate payroll records, and issue inaccurate wage statements to plaintiff,” according to court documents. This includes inaccurate overtime pay, Ontiveros’ attorney alleges.
Ontiveros is bringing this action on behalf of himself and several proposed classes, including an “overtime class,” a “minimum-wage class,” a “meal-period class,” a “rest-period class,” a “wage-statement class,” and a “wage-deduction class.”
“It is estimated that the classes number greater than 500 individuals as to each class,” according to Ontiveros’ attorney.
Ontiveros is seeking an order an order certifying the proposed classes, as well as “compensatory, consequential and general damages” for the various class claims.
His attorney has requested a jury trial.
Safelite Fulfillment, Safelite Group and Safelite Glass Corp. have not yet responded to the complaint at press time. The state class action lawsuit was filed September 9, 2015.
To read the full complaint, click here.