Class Claims Coca-Cola Owes for Overtime

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Los Angeles' Coca-Cola bottling factory stiffs warehouse workers of overtime by misclassifying them as managers, though they have no such duties, a class action claims in Superior Court.
     Lead plaintiff Gabriel Rodriguez sued BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles on Friday. Rodriguez claims he worked for Coca-Cola from October 2012 to February this year.
     In his 38-page complaint for unfair competition and violation of California labor laws, Rodriguez claims that he and other workers are misclassified as salaried "warehouse supervisors" so Coca-Cola can avoid paying them overtime pay as "non-exempt" employees.
     Rodriguez claims he had almost no managerial responsibilities and was a supervisor "in name only."
     "Warehouse supervisors in performing these ongoing day-to-day, non-exempt and non-managerial tasks had only a minimal role in supervising employees and had no authority to make employment-related decisions relating to defendant's employees," the lawsuit states.
     Rodriguez says his duties include inventory checks, pallet and load inspections, data entry and quality and safety control. He claims he should have been paid overtime for those "non-exempt" tasks.
     As well as failing to pay the misclassified workers overtime for hours more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, Coca-Cola does not give workers meal and rest breaks, Rodriguez adds.
     He seeks an injunction and damages, penalties and costs.
     He is represented by Norman Blumenthal, with Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik of La Jolla.
     Coca-Cola's media relations department in Atlanta could not be reached after business hours Friday.