This is a Class and Collective Action suit on behalf of paratransit drivers employed by First Transit Inc. for failure to pay overtime, failure to pay minimum wage, as well as meal and rest period violations.
Plaintiffs were assigned a split-shift schedule made up of a short morning shift and a short afternoon shift separated by one to four hour breaks during which Plaintiffs were required to return to their depot and perform work-related activities including completing paperwork, checking their schedules, scheduling additional rides, planning their routes, talking to managers and supervisors, cleaning and maintaining their buses and cleaning the depot. Since Defendant’s Paratransit Drivers are “off-the-clock” during split-shift breaks, Defendant did not pay wages for the work these employees performed during split-shift breaks.
Defendant routinely scheduled Plaintiff to work at least eight hours per split shift and 40 hours per week. In addition, Defendant regularly required Plaintiff and other Paratransit Drivers to work through meal and rest periods mandated by California wage law. When Defendant’s scheduling practices required Paratransit Drivers to miss multiple meal and rest periods in a single workday, Defendant did not pay them for each meal and rest period missed. On certain workdays, Defendant provided Plaintiff with manifests showing a split-shift break of between one and four hours. Plaintiff estimates that she worked an additional 1.5 hours off-the-clock during each of approximately six split-shift breaks that were scheduled during a pay period. As a result, Defendant is liable under the FLSA and California state law because they failed to pay Plaintiff for 1.5 hours of work in excess of eight hours each shift, totaling 9.0 additional overtime hours during the two weeks in a pay period. Plaintiff and subclass members are entitled to recover and demand a penalty for each meal and rest period not provided to them, as well as penalties in the amount of each member’s daily wage multiplied by thirty days in addition to attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest.
On July 7, 2021, the Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Conditional Certification, allowing Consent to Join/Opt-In Notices to be distributed by mail to all persons who have been employed or are currently employed by First Transit, Inc. as a full-time, hourly Paratransit Driver who have been assigned a split-shift schedule from April 2017 to the present. Employees must opt-in to the lawsuit to join the class action and be able to recover wages allegedly owed. It is anticipated that the Notice and Consent to Join/Opt-In form will begin to be distributed sometime around the beginning of October 2021.
Photo by Fons Heijnsbroek