The American Bottling Company is a subsidiary of Keurig-Dr. Pepper, Inc., and this class action brings suit against both of them for violations of California Labor laws. The complaint’s allegations include failure to provide proper meal and rest breaks and failure to pay minimum and overtime wages.
The class for this action is all persons who have been employed by American Bottling Company and Keurig-Dr. Pepper in California as non-exempt employees at any time between May 20, 2015 and a date to be determined by the court.
Plaintiff Juan M. Guzman-Lopez worked for the companies at a facility in Vernon, California as a merchandiser between November 2017 and September 2018. His work was to drive to stores in Los Angeles County, set up promotional signs, and stock merchandise.
Guzman-Lopez was a non-exempt employee, paid primarily on an hourly basis. As such, he was covered by California labor laws and the state’s IWC wage orders. Even so, the complaint alleges that the company did not follow all of the required rules and regulations.
Among other allegations, the complaint claims that the companies did not permit workers to take the required meal and rest breaks. After work periods of five hours, workers are to have an uninterrupted thirty-minute meal break. “As a result of Defendants’ demanding deadlines,” the complaint says, employees “were required to perform work as ordered by Defendants for more than five hours during a shift without receiving a duty-free, uninterrupted meal break and/or more than ten hours in a shift without received a second meal break.”
When Guzman-Lopez and other employees did not get proper meal breaks, they were not given the required extra hour’s pay to make up for it. Instead, the complaint says, the companies falsified their time records, adding meal breaks that never took place.
The complaint says they were also not given the rest breaks required by law and were not given the extra hour’s pay required to make up for it.
In addition, the complaint says that the companies required employees “to work off-the-clock without paying for all the time they were under Defendants’ control performing pre-shift and post-shift duties…” Among other things, they had to meet the companies’ “excessive expectation that its employees complete their assigned routes within predetermined timeframe[s] at all cost[s].”
With all this, the complaint says, Guzman-Lopez and other employees “worked over eight hours in a day, and/or forty hours in a week during their employment with Defendants and Defendants failed to pay overtime wages” to them. The result was also that wage statements were not accurate or properly itemized.