On Friday, two named plaintiffs, Julie Glennon and Thomas E. Overby, Jr., filed a lawsuit, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, in the Eastern District of Virginia against Anheuser-Busch, LLC, alleging the beermaker failed to pay its employees for all hours worked and for overtime hours worked at the appropriate rate in violation of state and federal law.
According to the complaint, the defendant is a Missouri limited liability company headquartered in St. Louis. The complaint goes on to state the defendant “embod[ies] the time-honored traditions of brewing great beer while constantly innovating to drive the industry forward.” Additionally, the complaint states the defendant owns and operates a brewery in Williamsburg, Virginia that produces nearly 400 different beer packages.
The complaint states the named plaintiffs are both Virginia residents and are among the at least 350 non-exempt individuals employed by the defendant at its Williamsburg brewery. According to the plaintiffs, Glennon was employed as an operator at the Williamsburg brewery with her job duties included driving a fork truck and loading and unloading trailers, among other tasks. Overby was employed as a maintenance technician and his job duties included fulfilling corrective, preventive and emergency maintenance work orders, writing work orders, closing work orders and attending various administrative meetings, among other tasks.
The plaintiffs allege that the defendant compensates operators, technicians, engineers and similar positions on an hourly basis and they are considered non-exempt under the FLSA. Further, the complaint states the defendant requires operators, technicians, engineers or similar positions to work approximately eight hour shifts, five days per week that is recorded using an electronic timekeeping system.
However, the plaintiffs argue that the timekeeping system does not properly capture pre-shift work that the plaintiffs perform outside of the Williamsburg brewery. The plaintiffs allege that before March 2020, the defendant required the plaintiffs and similar employees to arrive approximately 20 minutes before their scheduled shifts to perform a litany of unpaid tasks and approximately 30 minutes before after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that the defendant requires them to perform approximately 15 minutes of unpaid postshift work each workday.
The plaintiffs argue the defendant has created a systematic, company-wide policy of failing to pay its employees for all hours worked by requiring plaintiffs to perform pre- and post-shift work that is uncompensated. The plaintiffs allege that the uncompensated pre- and post-shift work could not feasibly be completed during the plaintiffs compensated shift and failure to perform the work would result in verbal and written warnings on their records and possible termination. Further, the plaintiffs argue that defendants have ignored the plaintiffs numerous complaints about the unpaid pre- and post-shift work and continue the practice and policy of not fully compensating its employees.
The plaintiffs seek class certification and damages in lost wages, liquidated damages, interest and attorney’s fees and costs for the defendant’s violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Virginia Minimum Wage Act and the Virginia Wage Payment Act. The plaintiffs are represented by Zipin, Amster, & Greenberg L.L.C. and The Spiggle Law Firm.