Week Adjourned: 8.21.09

So much for the dog days of summer…it was a busy week.

Top Class Actions

[Pay]check is not in the mail? It seems every week a major brand is in the news for some alleged type of labor or wages violation. This week it’s UPS. The global courier company is facing a potential class action lawsuit over allups-legal-envegations that it withheld as much as $100 million in overtime wages from its account managers.

The suit alleges that UPS is in violation of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California’s wage and hour laws. The suit also alleges that UPS does not provide employees with mandatory meal periods and rest breaks and fails to keep adequate records of the hours the employees work. Who said management had it good? I would think that unpaid management overtime is a silent epidemic.

Vanishing home equity? Have you checked your home equity line of credit lately? Maybe you should. Michael Hickman of Illinois did, and got quite a nasty shock. Hickman alleges that he had secured a $75,000 home equity line of credit from Wells Fargo in May of 2006, however in October 2008 he was informed by the company that his line of credit had been reduced to $31,039.83.

So, Hickman’s filed a lawsuit seeking class action status against Wells Fargo & Co of San Francisco, alleging that the company failed to accurately assess the values of its customers’ homes when it decided to reduce associated home equity credit lines.

The argument is that Wells Fargo is in violation of a federal law which prohibits lenders from reducing home equity credit lines without first having either assessed the value of the property or, for some other reason, suspended or reduced the credit line. Maybe it’s time to check those unopened statements…

Top Settlements

Cintas finally comes clean? After 6 years of tortuous litigation and delay tactics, North America’s largest industrial launderer and uniform rental provider, Cintas, has settled with its drivers, to the tune of $22.75 million.

Filed in 2003, the class action cited violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specifically that Cintas drivers were classified by the company as salaried employees rather than hourly workers, which exempted them from overtime pay. The drivers argued that their jobs driving trucks, delivering uniforms and servicing existing contracts do not make them exempt from being paid for hours worked over 40 hours. What are the odds Cintas spent more money on the lawsuit than they would have had they paid their drivers overtime up front?

That’s it for this week—see you at the Bar!


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