Check out Martin Garfinkel’s quote in this week’s Stranger on Seattle’s Minimum Wage Issue.
Attorneys at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender (Martin S. Garfinkel, Adam J. Berger, and Lindsay L. Halm) have filed a class action complaint on behalf of workers from Extra Car Airport Parking, Inc. in SeaTac, who were not paid the $15.00 per hour minimum wage as required under the new SeaTac Ordinance that went into effect on January 1, 2014. For more information, see the attached press release and complaint.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Seattle) Amazon.com and its warehouse staffing agency have been sued today in federal court in Seattle. The case, Allison v. Amazon.com and Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., alleges Amazon failed to pay workers for time they were required to spend in security lines waiting to undergo searches during their lunch breaks and at the end of their shifts. Workers leaving the warehouses are required to clock out before standing in line at security check points, resulting in an average approximate 25-minute wait because of the large number of employees in the huge facilities. The workers are not allowed to have personal items such as phones, personal electronic devices, or books in the facility, and have no way to use the time waiting in line for their own purposes.
Amazon warehouses, known as “fulfillment centers,” are located in fourteen states, including three in Washington, which is home to Amazon. The lawsuit is filed as a “collective” action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act that applies to employees nationwide. The suit will also include class actions for workers in some states, such as Washington and California, where state labor laws offer greater protection to the workers than afforded under federal law.
Many warehouse employees are technically hired by the staffing agency, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., which is also a defendant. In April 2013, the 9th Circuit held that a case for unpaid time brought by workers in the state of Nevada could proceed.
The nationwide lawsuit in Seattle was filed by the firms Johnson Becker of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sommers Schwartz, P.C. of Southfield, Michigan, The Maher Law Firm of Orlando, Florida, and Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender of Seattle, Washington.
Amazon workers who may be part of the class are urged to contact one of the law firms bringing the case:
Adam J. Berger
Schroeter Goldmark & Bender attorneys Marty Garfinkel and Adam Berger are victorious in representing employees in a class action lawsuit against Bethlehem Construction. 328 workers will receive payments of between $100 and $60,000 each under the settlement award in the case.
Class Action Settlement against Bethlehem Construction – Puget Sound Business Journal Story 10-23-12
$5.5M Class Action Settlement against Bethlehem Construction – Seattle Times Story 10-25-12
At this years annual convention, the Washington State Association for Justice elected SGB attorney Rebecca Roe as its new president.
Watch the King 5 interview here.
The Washington Court of Appeals has affirmed a $1.3 million judgment in favor of a class of armored car drivers and messengers who were denied their rest and meal periods by their employer, Brink’s Incorporated. That judgment was reached after a four week trial in late 2009 in front of King County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Trickey. The court ruled that Brink’s Incorporated has to pay back wages, plus interest, to 182 drivers and messengers for the period between 2004 and 2007 because it did not allow them an opportunity to take rest breaks and meal periods. The employees worked as messengers and drivers on armored trucks out of branch offices located in Seattle and Tacoma and picked up and delivered cash and other valuables throughout Western Washington.
Under Washington state law, all employees are entitled to 10 minutes of rest break time for each 4 hours of work, and a 30 minute meal period after 5 working hours. The Court of Appeals affirmed that because of their continuous work responsibilities guarding the high value property on the trucks, the Brink’s employees had no personal time during the day when they could rest and eat.
“We are very pleased with the decision. These employees worked very hard under difficult conditions and faced considerable dangers every day. They deserved to be treated in compliance with the law,” stated one of the attorneys for the class, Adam J. Berger, of the Seattle firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender. Although the original judgment was for $1.3 million, with additional post judgment interest, the total amount of back pay and interest is estimated to exceed $1.5 million.
More information about the class action case may be found on the website of class counsel, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, at www.sgb-law.com.
Schroeter Goldmark & Bender is one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest plaintiffs’ law firms, and has been assisting injured families and workers for more than 35 years.