Employee Accuses Pepsi of FLSA Violations

Plaintiff Emanuele Stevens (individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated) filed suit against defendants PepsiCo Inc., Bottling Group, LLC, and CB Manufacturing Company, Inc on Monday in the Southern District of New York. The suit alleges that the defendants willfully committed violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Ohio law by failing to properly compensate the plaintiff and the class for overtime hours they had worked.

FLSA is designed to protect individuals from harmful working conditions, substandard wages, and oppressive working hours, the complaint said; under the law, employers must pay their employees one and one-half times their regular hourly rate if they work in excess of forty hours a week.

The complaint added that under state and federal law, employers are also required to keep employee time sheets and payroll records “safe and accessible at the place or places of employment, or at one or more established central recordkeeping offices.”

Defendant PepsiCo employs the plaintiff and other members of the FLSA Collective and Ohio Class. Defendants Bottling Group, LLC and CB Manufacturing Company, Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of PepsiCo and issue payroll to non-exempt hourly employees, which include the plaintiff and class. As employers of the plaintiff, the defendants collectively “shared control and maintenance of employment records.”

Stevens began her employment with the defendants in October 2021 as a nonexempt hourly employee. She asserts that she (and other members of the FLSA Collective and the Ohio Class) frequently work more than 40 hours a week, yet the defendants “consistently” fail to properly compensate Stevens and the class for the overtime hours they work.

The defendants’ payroll provider is Ultimate Kronos Group (Kronos). In December 2021, Kronos experienced a cybersecurity incident, per the complaint. The alleged miscalculations on behalf of the defendants regarding the plaintiff and classes’ compensation occurred by their “averaging the hours worked in the weeks prior to the mid-December 2021 Kronos purported cybersecurity incident.”

The complaint specifies that the “defendants failed to keep accurate records of hours worked” in violation of FLSA and Ohio law. Further, the “defendants knew that Plaintiff and other members of the FLSA Collective and Ohio Class were entitled to overtime compensation under federal state law or acted in reckless disregard for whether they were so entitled” when they failed to correctly compensate the plaintiff and class for their overtime hours.

The suit cites an FLSA Overtime Violation and Ohio Overtime Violation. The plaintiff is seeking FLSA collective action certification, class action certification, favorable judgment on each count, compensatory damages, prejudgment interest, litigation fees, and any other relief deemed equitable by the Court.The plaintiff is represented by Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC.