Fitbit ‘n Burn? We all know the benefits of exercise, and let’s face it—anything we can find to help motivate us has to be a good thing, right? This week, the makers of an activity tracker got hit with a class action…Fitbit, the manufacturer of the Fitbit Force, is facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit over advertising claims that the device is an “advanced activity tracker.” The device was recalled following reports of skin irritation including blisters, rashes, burns and more. The firm has received about 9,900 reports of the wristband causing skin irritation and about 250 reports of blistering.
According to the lawsuit, Fitbit advertised that the Force is a safe, comfortable, nonhazardous device but at no time during the promotion or marketing of the Force product did Fitbit warn its customers or the general public of any adverse health consequences.
“Fitbit promoted, marketed, advertised, distributed and sold the Fitbit as a health and wellness product to consumers specifically interested in tracking, monitoring, measuring, and improving their overall health and wellness,” the lawsuit states. “When worn and operated as intended, the Force product causes physical injuries included but not limited to skin irritation, rashes, burns, blisters, cuts, boils, open wounds, redness, itching, cracking, peeling, or any other physical injuries.”
The lawsuit, entitled The case is Jim Spivey v. Fitbit Inc. et al., case number 37-2014-00007109, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego, seeks class action status and damages for consumers who bought the Force as a result of Fitbit’s alleged misrepresentations about the product’s safety.
More for McDonald’s….McDonald’s got served with two wage and hour class action action lawsuits in Michigan claiming the fast food giant is systematically stealing employees’ wages by forcing them to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards, and not paying them overtime among other practices.
In the lawsuits, filed against McDonald’s Corp., its U.S. subsidiary and two Detroit-area franchisees, workers assert McDonald’s regularly forces workers to show up for work at a scheduled time but then has them wait without pay until the store gets busy enough, and that it routinely violates minimum wage laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Michigan’s minimum wage law.
The suits contend that, using McDonald’s franchisor standards and corporation-provided software, McDonald’s franchisees closely monitor the ratio of labor costs to revenues. When it exceeds a corporate-set target, managers tell workers arriving for their shifts to wait for up to an hour to clock in, and sometimes direct workers who have already clocked in for scheduled shifts to clock out for extended breaks until the target ratio is again achieved. Workers are not paid for these wait times, and McDonald’s Corporation knowingly tolerates this practice, in violation of federal labor law.
The lawsuits also allege that McDonald’s forces its low-paid workers to buy their own uniforms. Because McDonald’s restaurants pay at or near the minimum wage, this drives some workers’ real wages below the legal minimum, in violation of federal labor law.
Canon Techs Win preliminary wage and hour settlement… Preliminary approval has been granted for a $4.4 million settlement in a wage and hour class action lawsuit pending against Canon Business Solutions. The lawsuit was brought by a group of service technicians who alleged the defendant docked workers for lunch breaks they didn’t take and failed to pay them for overtime worked.
The lawsuit, Steven Jones, et al. v. Canon Business Solutions, Inc, case number 2:12-cv-07195, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, was filed by named plaintiffs Steven Jones and Javier Crespo, who will each receive $8,500 in incentive awards. Filed in July 2012, the lawsuit claims Canon violated New York labor law as well as California labor laws, in addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The plaintiffs also allege that Canon’s time-keeping system automatically accounted for breaks of 45 minutes, even in the event the service technicians took shorter breaks. In some cases, the lawsuit contends, the workers “took no meal period because [Canon’s] practice of scheduling work assignments, and its own directives to [the workers], did not permit them to take those meal breaks.” Even in that instance, they said, Canon docked the workers’ pay.
The settlement, if approved, will establish a fund of $4.4 million for the service technicians in the class, and lawyers’ fees. Cha Ching!
According to the terms of the settlement, there are three classes of eligible plaintiffs, namely: New York, service technicians who worked in that state at any time from October 9, 2006, until March 14, 2014; California, service technicians who worked in that state at any time between July 19, 2008, and March 14, 2014; and FLSA, those who worked as service technicians in any other state from June 12, 2010, through to March 14, 2014.
A final hearing is set for September.
Ok Folks, That’s all for this week. See you at the bar!