Ecolab Inc. has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by California exterminators. The global company was accused of withholding overtime pay in violation of California wage and hour laws and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The plaintiffs claimed Ecolab wrongfully classified exterminators as exempt employees, making them ineligible for overtime pay. They claimed to regularly work more than 40 hours per week as well as during meal times and other breaks, but were not compensated for the extra time.
According to Law360 (subscription required), the class action overtime settlement, once approved, will pay each class member an average of more than $5,000.
Ecolab has been in hot water for similar allegations in the past. In November 2013, a federal judge approved a $29 million class action settlement claiming Ecolab unlawfully denied overtime pay to hundreds of exterminators.
Employer violations of the FLSA and state wage and hour laws are all too common, and hard-working employees are often denied the compensation they deserve. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied wages or overtime pay, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group to discuss your situation and your right to compensation.