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Thursday, 19 February 2015 00:00

Caliber Auto Mechanics File CA Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit

A California labor law class action lawsuit has been filed against the auto repair chain Caliber Collision by mechanics who allege they were not paid for all the hours they worked.

Click HERE for previous coverage by Autobody News.

Filed by lead plaintiff Samuel Castillo, the lawsuit alleges Caliber Bodyworks of Texas Inc., which operates the car repair chain Caliber Collision, pays its mechanics on a piece-rate system for each task they perform, and that the workers are assigned piece-rate hours per tasks, regardless of the time it actually takes them to perform. Castillo claims he recorded the hours he worked, but Caliber only paid him under the piece-rate system.

“As a result, defendants did not pay plaintiff for all hours worked at the minimum wage, as defendants failed to pay plaintiff for nonproductive hours, i.e. hours that he was not performing piece-rate work,” the complaint states.

Further, the lawsuit contends that Castillo worked for Caliber from 2007 through to the end of January 2014 classed as a nonexempt technician under the piece-rate system. According to the suit, under Caliber’s pay system, if a task were assigned a value of 0.8 hours, the mechanic would be paid for 0.8 hours of work, regardless of whether the task took 10 or 90 minutes to perform.

According to the suit, the method Caliber uses, of meeting their minimum wage obligations, dividing daily piece-rate earnings by daily hours worked, violates California labor law. The suit also alleges Caliber paid Castillo nondiscretionary bonuses and other forms of compensation that aren’t excludable from the regular rate of pay.

“Despite defendants’ payment of incentive pay to plaintiff, defendants failed to include all forms of incentive pay when calculating plaintiff’s regular rate of pay, thereby further causing plaintiff to be underpaid all of his required overtime wages,” the complaint states.

Castillo alleges that he regularly worked in excess of eight hours per work day and over 40 hours each week, without receiving overtime compensation. Further, because the company only pays its workers in the piece-rate system, it also fails to maintain any compensation system for compensating rest periods.

“As a result of defendants’ failure to pay all overtime and minimum wages, defendants maintained inaccurate payroll records and issued inaccurate wage statements to plaintiff,” the suit states.

Finally, the lawsuit contends that Caliber requires its mechanics to buy their own tools that are necessary to perform their job duties, without reimbursing the workers for the cost of the tools.

The employment class action is seeking certification on behalf of classes of workers denied minimum wage, overtime hours, expense reimbursements and more.

The plaintiff is represented by Paul K. Haines and Fletcher W. Schmidt of Boren Osher & Luftman LLP.

The suit is Castillo et al. v. Caliber Bodyworks of Texas Inc. et al., case number BC572767, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

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