San Francisco MUNI Drivers Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Explained

San Francisco MUNI bus and train drivers suing the public transit agency for overtime violations are seeking class action certification. The group of current and former train operators who have joined in the suit has already reached some 2,000+ drivers. The basis of their purported class action lawsuit is that MUNI drivers are not paid for various time spent on the job in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and related California labor laws.

No Pay for Delayed Schedules or Off-the-Clock Time Between Runs

The drivers are reportedly only paid for a predetermined amount of driving time, linked to the MUNI schedules, but are not paid for the extra work time caused by train delays.  Drivers also allege they are not paid for time spent traveling between “start-end” points when operating different “runs” during a shift. Since the geographical locations differ between different runs’ start and end points, the drivers must obviously travel between these points in order to get back to their vehicle and go home, which is not a part of their regular commute to/from home.

Additionally, MUNI drivers claim they are denied pay for various “off-the-clock” working time.  For instance, the lawsuit alleges the drivers are not paid for post-driving vehicle inspections or for filing out complicated overtime forms. Many drivers are unable to even fill out some of the forms since the trains are already running late.

Labor Law Violations and Time Records

Both the Fair Labor Standards Act and California labor laws require employers to pay employees at least the minimum wage for all time worked, plus overtime for hours worked in excess of full-time work.  Both sets of laws also require the employer to maintain accurate records of all hours worked by employees and California law requires employees be provided with itemized wage statements.  To the extent that MUNI drivers were not paid for unscheduled work time, whether due to delayed schedules, administrative functions or travel time between runs, those work hours can quickly add up to a sizable amount of uncompensated time.  When this uncompensated work time pushed an employee into overtime hours, the potential damages are further compounded.

How Do I Get More Information?

If you believe you may have an overtime claim related to your employment, contact the experienced employment class action attorneys at Audet and Partners, LLP for a free evaluation of your legal options.  Call us at (800) 965-1461 or fill out the confidential case inquiry form on our website for more information.

*Source: Eskenazi, Joe (2014, March 19); Retrieved from: http://www.sfweekly.com/2014-03-19/news/muni-drivers-class-action-lawsuit-overtime/

 

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