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Hyatt Overtime and Rest and Meal Breaks California Class Action

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There’s a tendency to think that large, famous companies are better about compliance with labor laws, either because they can afford it or because they have a reputation to uphold. The complaint for this class action, however, alleges that the Hyatt Corporation has violated California Labor Law in numerous ways. 

The class for this action is all current and former hourly-paid or non-exempt employees who live in California and who worked for Hyatt Corporation in California at any time between January 13, 2016 and the final judgement in this case.

This action has been brought by Christine Crump, who was herself an hourly-paid and non-exempt employee of Hyatt from around January 2019 to around June 2019. The case’s causes of action lie primarily in provisions of the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.

One of the allegations Crump makes is that Hyatt did not compensate employees for all overtime hours worked. Under California law, if employees are not exempt from overtime requirements, employers must pay them for all hours worked. In addition, hours over eight per day or forty per week are to be paid at one-and-a-half or two times their normal rates of pay. 

California also has laws about how often employers must permit employees to take rest and meal breaks. While employers may require them to work instead of taking such breaks, or, for example, to be partially on duty during a meal break, there is a trade-off: When an employer requires that a worker skip an uninterrupted break, the employer must pay them an extra hour of compensation for the day. 

The complaint also alleges that Hyatt did not compensate them for all business-related expenses.

While these are the basic allegations against Hyatt, they lead to a number of “downstream” allegations. 

For example, because employees were not compensated for overtime, their wage statements did not include the overtime hours. This is a violation in that the wage statements were neither complete nor accurate. 

Another result is that employees did not receive all wages due to them, either during their term of employment or at separation. Both of these are also violations of California Labor Law. 

And when wages are not paid in full at termination or shortly thereafter, California law provides for a waiting time penalty, in which the employee’s wages continue from the due date to up to thirty days thereafter, until the remaining wages are paid. 

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