Blue Diamond Sued by Employees for Alleged Unfair Wage Practices

Employees filed a class action lawsuit against Blue Diamond Growers Inc. alleging that they are not receiving appropriate pay and other rights given to them under federal and California labor laws. The proposed class action alleged employees that are not exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including the plaintiffs, have been systematically underpaid by Blue Diamond.

The plaintiffs, Luis Barajas, Maria Vargas, and Elba Vizcaino, are represented by The Law Offices of Mallison and Martinez. They filed the lawsuit in the Eastern District of California against Blue Diamond Growers Inc., Denise Horn, Patricia Aguilar, and Resham Klair and others who allegedly violated labor laws.

The employees alleged violations of the Fair Labour Standards Act including not paying overtime, not paying minimum wages owed, not allowing breaks and meal periods, not paying all wages at the end of employment, and violations of the Unfair Competition Law.

“The claims of this lawsuit spring from a pattern of employer misconduct and wrongdoing that has characterized the labor system in much of the packing and hulling industry, where unpaid and improperly paid labor,  as alleged herein, are commonplace and regular practices. The Defendants alleged herein pack and hull almonds. The unlawful practices and policies alleged are widespread and entrenched in the industry,” the complaint said.

The plaintiffs were employed by Blue Diamond as non-exempt employees and claim they were not paid appropriately during their employment, causing loss of money and property. The plaintiffs requested injunctive relief and declaratory relief for all members of the class. The purported class includes non-exempt hourly employees of Blue Diamond Growers, which the plaintiffs believe to number between several hundred and several thousand people, mostly residing in California.