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Panera Payment for All Hours Worked California Class Action

Two Panera Bread Bowls Filled with Soup

The complaint for this class action alleges that Panera, LLC discouraged employees from recording all the hours they worked and pressured them instead to record only the hours that conformed to the hours scheduled for their shift, even when they worked longer.

The class for this action is all current and former non-exempt, hourly employees of Panera, LLC who worked there at any time between May 22, 2015 and May 22, 2019. Subclasses have been defined for violations under Meal Period, Rest Break, Wage Statement, Termination Pay, and UCL rules.

Panera operates bakery cafes where it sells snacks, meals, and fresh bread. Debora Philpott worked at one of these cafes in California as a non-exempt, hourly worker. 

Although Panera does give employees work schedules, these schedules actually change all the time, the complaint says. For example, the complaint says that if Philpott was scheduled to work three hours one day, she might still be called in the day before or a few hours earlier than scheduled, to cover a co-worker’s shift. 

Also, employees were required to do work before they clocked in, putting on their uniforms, taking inventory, preparing their work stations, or meeting with shift supervisors. They also had to do work after they’d clocked out, including changing out of their uniforms, taking out the trash, and cleaning up. Their meal breaks were also often interrupted by managers wanting to speak to them or ask for their help. 

These practices add up to several violations under California laws. Employees were not paid for all hours worked; they were often not permitted proper rest or meal breaks; they were not paid overtime when the extra hours pushed their total number of hours past regular time limits; and the employers kept inaccurate records.

Thus the complaint says that Panera owes workers for certain hours they worked outside of their regular scheduled shifts. It owes premiums for missed, late, or interrupted meal and rest breaks. Furthermore, it owes them time-and-a-half pay for hours over eight in a day or forty in a week or on the seventh day of the week, and double-time pay for hours over twelve in a day or after eight on the seventh day of the week. Lastly, it owes some of them because all of this was not paid promptly at the time of their terminations.

The complaint claims violations of California’s Labor Code, its Business & Professions Code, and orders of its Industrial Welfare Commission.

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