The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, more commonly known as SpaceX, is a famous company founded by Elon Musk. It has had its fair share of media attention with its astonishing accomplishments as a commercial space transport company, including being the first company that was able to send its own spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Unfortunately, it has also been known as among the lowest-paying companies in the tech sector. In fact, according to 3 different class action suits filed against the company, SpaceX engaged in a wage violation that kept workers from getting their wages. In a recent court ruling that grouped the 3 suits together, SpaceX will close a settlement that involves a payout of about $4 million that will be shared by the 4,100 employees.
Employers are required by state and federal laws to compensate their workers fairly. Employers must pay just wages for the time employees spend on their work, and this means paying for overtime when it’s necessary. Companies are also mandated to provide breaks for meals and rest during the work day.
According to the civil suits filed against SpaceX, the company didn’t allow their workers to get the workday breaks that the law legally mandated. This was accomplished by a clever structuring of the worker’s shift patterns.
The settlement that resulted from the suits now requires SpaceX to pay at least $500 for each worker represented in the suits. The payouts will differ depending on the worker’s particular circumstances, and some of them may receive up to $2,000.
California Laws For Employees
The federal law on just wages can be trumped by state laws if these state laws offer more generous terms for employees. California is a good example of this. The labor laws in the state require employees to pay overtime rates of 1.5 times the rate of regular pay. This overtime will cover work past 8 hours in a given workday and past 40 hours in a given workweek. Meal breaks must be at least 30 minutes long, and if the worker works more than 10 hours in a day they must be a 2nd meal break.
Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that not all employers pay their workers their just wages. Avoiding overtime rates is especially common, though in cases like the SpaceX allegations it’s also possible that a company can fail to provide proper breaks for their employees. In some cases, workers are even wrongly classified as supervisors so they will be exempted from the overtime pay.
What to Do In Case of Wage Violation
If you feel that you are not being paid the wages you deserve or that your employer has failed in providing proper breaks, you should consult with our team of experienced wage violation lawyers. We will make sure that you get the legal representation you need so that you are treated fairly and are given just wages and mandated breaks.
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