A supplier of take-and-bake pizzas to Wal-Mart and its staffing firm have been sued by contingent workers seeking three years’ worth of unpaid wages and overtime, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Illinois. The lawsuit seeks class action status.
Workers filed the lawsuit on April 29 against Great Kitchens Inc. and Staffing Network Holding LLC. The suit said Great Kitchens ranks as one of the largest manufacturers of take-and-bake pizzas in North America and supplies national grocery stores such as Wal-Mart.
The suit claims workers at Great Kitchens’ Romeoville, Ill., plant were not paid while being required to wait in the company cafeteria both before and during their shifts while production lines were restocked or repaired.
Contingent workers were also required to work 10 minutes to 15 minutes or more past the end of their shifts without compensation, according to the lawsuit.
Other allegations in the suit include:
- Great Kitchens failed to provide workers with employment notices and wage payment notices as required by the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.
- The buyer failed to keep accurate records of its laborers’ time.
- Some workers were unlawfully charged for rides from Staffing Network’s dispatch office in South Chicago to Great Kitchens’ plant in Romeoville.
- Workers were not paid a minimum of four hours pay on days there were contracted but not used for the minimum four hours.
- One plaintiff was terminated after complaining about violations of his rights.
The case seeks class action status, and claims the firms employed more than a thousand people as day or temporary laborers in Illinois over the past three years. It seeks three years of unpaid back wages and overtime.
Named defendants in the case include Miguel Martinez, Eduardo Reyes, Jose Miguel Rojo and Brian Lucas.
Buyers need to make sure they and their staffing providers are aware of the applicable wage and hour laws and are in compliance. Consult your legal counsel for specific advice.