Brooks v. Chariot Transit

Class Action Meal and Rest Breaks Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) Wage and Hour Law

Plaintiffs DAVINA BROOKS and TYRELL LOVE (“Plaintiffs”) have sued defendant CHARIOT TRANSIT, INC. (“Defendant”).  This case is a class action under Code of Civil Procedure section 382.  Plaintiffs seek to represent a class comprised of current and former drivers (also known as “charioteers”) employed by Defendant in the State of California (“Class Members”).

Defendant is in the business of providing private transportation.  Defendant has failed to pay Plaintiffs and all other drivers in California minimum wages as required by law for all of their hours worked.  Specifically, Defendant has failed to pay Plaintiffs and other Class Members in California for time spent performing work during nonproductive time, including but not limited to pre-trip and post-trip work.

Defendant requires its drivers to continuously work without authorizing or providing rest periods.  Drivers regularly work more than three-and-one-half (3½) hours without being authorized or permitted to take a ten (10) minute rest period.  Defendant does not provide drivers one (1) additional hour of pay for each workday that a rest period is not provided.  Defendant also does not pay drivers for their rest periods, as required by law.

Defendant does not reimburse drivers for all business-related expenses.  For example, drivers are required to use their personal cell phones for work-related purposes, including communicating with Defendant while working.  Drivers are not reimbursed for these business expenses.

Defendant does not provide drivers with adequate itemized wage statements.  For example, the wage statements provided by Defendant to Brooks and Love fail to state Defendant’s address.

Defendant does not pay drivers in checks that are negotiable at an established place of business in California.  Nor does it include the name and address of such place of business on its checks.

By failing to properly compensate and reimburse Plaintiffs and Class Members, Defendant has sought to avoid various duties and obligations owed to employees under California’s Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) wage orders, including but not limited to: the duty to pay minimum wages for all hours worked (Labor Code §§ 1182.12 and 1194; Wage Order No. 9 § 4); the duty to authorize and permit rest periods (Labor Code § 226.7; Wage Order No. 9, § 12); the duty to reimburse employees for reasonable business expenses (Labor Code § 2802); the duty to provide accurate wage statements (Labor Code § 226; Wage Order No. 9 § 7); and other related legal obligations.

Plaintiffs therefore bring claims on behalf of Class Members for unpaid minimum wages, payments for rest periods, unreimbursed business expenses, inadequate wage statements, and statutory and civil penalties, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs under Labor Code sections 203, 218.5, 226, 226.2, 226.7, 1194, and 2802, and Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5.  Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and the Class Members, also seek equitable and injunctive relief for these violations pursuant to Business and Professions Code sections 17200-17208 (also referred to herein as the “UCL”).

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