SpaceX Lawsuit Alleges California State Labor Law Violations

Law Firm Newswire



Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2014 – It does not require rocket science to follow existing California labor laws.

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) is now facing two lawsuits over alleged labor law violations. One suit alleges that the company denied workers breaks and demanded that they work off the clock and through meal and rest breaks because of overloaded work schedules.

Allegedly, none of the workers were paid for missed breaks or other off-the-clock work, told to round their hours worked to the nearest 15-minute increment (losing wages in the process), provided with tools needed to perform their jobs or reimbursed when they bought tools they needed.

In California, workers on shifts for over five hours must have 30-minute meal breaks. If they work more than 10 hours, they must receive a second 30-minute break. It is also mandated that for every four hours worked, there must be a 10-minute rest break. “If those breaks are not provided, employers must pay workers an extra hour for each day they did not get a meal break and pay another hour for each day they went without a rest break,” said Sacramento business attorney Deborah Barron. Barron is not involved in either case.

SpaceX has had its share of labor issues lately. The latest blow was delivered by a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that SpaceX laid off hundreds of workers in July without proper notice and without compensation. The newest lawsuit also suggests the company made break and shift schedules that shortened or interrupted workers’ mandatory breaks before the layoffs. It asks the courts for back pay, damages and penalties.

“If the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs in either of these cases, SpaceX could face a very large penalty for its violations of California’s labor laws. It may be wise for the company to settle out of court; a court could award a large sum for damages, penalties and back pay. State labor laws are there for a reason – to protect workers,” Barron said.

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