- Aldi, a discount grocery store chain, will pay $2 million to settle wage and hour claims brought by a class of California workers (Gant v. Aldi, Inc. No. 2:19-cv-03109 (C.D. Calif. June 22, 2020)).
- The plaintiffs claimed Aldi violated California law by failing to pay proper minimum and overtime wages. They also alleged the store denied workers meal and rest breaks, in addition to other violations such as failure to pay timely wages at termination.
- The class comprised just over 2,000 Aldi workers.
This is not the first time Aldi has faced wage and hour claims in recent months. Last year, the store agreed to pay a nearly $10 million settlement following claims it paid some workers based in Syracuse, New York, flat salaries for doing the same work as employees who were paid on an hourly basis and eligible for overtime, local media reported.
It's not uncommon for employers to face class action lawsuits alleging wage and hour claims such as overtime violations, and the resulting legal fines often range in the millions. A U.S. district court judge, for example, ordered Steak 'n Shake last year to pay more than $7.7 million after managers said the restaurant denied them over overtime pay.
California employers are subject to state law that is generally more generous to employees than its federal counterpart. California-based Red Robin restaurants agreed to pay $8.5 million to a class of 16,790 workers to settle allegations they failed to properly provide meal and rest breaks. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to provide paid rest breaks, but California law mandates employers provide workers a 10-minute break for every four hours worked. The law specifies that breaks should be given during the middle of the work period.