Former technician Yadir Ontiveros has filed an amended state class action lawsuit against Safelite Fulfillment, Safelite Group and Safelite Glass Corp. in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, saying the company violated Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). “At all times while employed as a technician, plaintiff has been paid on a piece-rate basis,” his attorney says. Safelite denies the allegations.
“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,” the plaintiff’s attorney claims.
Ontiveros says technicians “are pressured and encouraged” to be highly productive and so they “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.”
His attorney claims Safelite’s pay system is “a subterfuge for a piece-rate compensation system” and that the former technician as well as others similarly situated were not separately compensated for time spent working on tasks such as cleaning and maintaining tools, performing administrative tasks, attending mandatory meetings, or travelling to and from jobsites.
“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,” the attorney says.
Ontiversos also claims he was not given rest periods and that customer warranty claims were wrongly deducted from his earnings.
Safelite’s attorneys deny the allegations. They say Ontiversos does not offer enough facts to certify a class against the company.
“The amended complaint, in whole or in part, should be abated in the Court’s discretion, and plaintiff should be forced to pursue his administrative remedies with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which has primary jurisdiction over plaintiff’s state law claims,” Safelite’s attorneys say.
Safelite authorized and permitted the plaintiff to take all rest and meal periods required by law, according to the company’s attorneys.
“Plaintiff is unable to state a cause of action against Safelite because plaintiff consented to any and all actions allegedly taken by Safelite,” the attorneys claim.
Both sides are seeking a jury trial.
To read Ontiversos’ amended complaint, click here.
To read Safelite’s response, click here.