A California federal judge has awarded preliminary approval to an $8.5 million class action settlement over claims that paper and packaging company Rock-Tenn Company deprived 800 California employees of wages, overtime and appropriate breaks.
The class action lawsuit was filed five years ago. The judge in the case determined that the wage and hour settlement was reasonable, adequate, and fair.
Laws in the U.S. and at the state level require employers to provide certain breaks and working conditions. When employers try to skirt these rules or force employees into policies that violate the integrity and purpose of such laws, this can lead to a wage and hour lawsuit. If you were the victim of unfair wage, hour, or employment policies, talking to an experienced wage and hour lawyer can help to clarify your grounds to file a legal claim.
Wage and Hour Settlement Achieved After Years of Attempts
Parties in the case, Wilson, et al. v. Rock-Tenn Company, et al., attempted multiple times to reach a wage and hour settlement in the hard-fought litigation, which took nearly five years to resolve. The third round of negotiations was initiated in December 2016.
The class action lawsuit alleged that practices and policies maintained by Rock-Tenn, now referred to as WestRock, decreased rest and meal breaks and did not provide the required compensation pay.
Furthermore, the wage and hour lawsuit argued that the company mandated that employees work off the clock to avoid having to pay overtime.
Despite agreeing to the wage and hour settlement to resolve the litigation, Rock-Tenn maintains it did nothing wrong and that it permitted and authorized meal breaks and rest breaks and paid for all hours worked by employees.
How the Wage and Hour Settlement Breaks Down for the Affected Class
Non-exempt hourly employees working in one of the five factory facilities for Rock-Tenn from July 2008 through May 2015 will receive average individual awards of approximately $6,332. More than 800 individuals were named in the class action lawsuit as plaintiffs.
The named plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit will receive an additional award of $12,000, according to the settlement documents.
WestRock remains one of the largest paper and packaging companies, with $15 billion produced in annual revenue and more than 42,000 employees across numerous countries.
Get Legal Help
A growing number of employees in California and elsewhere are reaching out to lawyers to ask about policies that may violate wage and hour laws. If you think you might fall into that group, it’s suggested that you speak to an attorney sooner rather than later. Whether the case resolves in a wage and hour settlement or a trial verdict, employees may be able to hold employers accountable for violations.
If you were the victim of wage and hour violations such as off-the-clock work, unpaid wages, minimum wage violations, unpaid overtime, missed meals and breaks, and other misconduct, you may be able to seek compensation for the wages you were entitled to receive according to state labor laws.
Fill out the form on this page now to receive a free evaluation. If you have a case, you will be contacted for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.