A former non-exempt Anheuser-Busch brewery worker in California has filed a putative class action against the company alleging that it violated the state labor code by failing to include the value of free or discounted beer—termed “incentive pay”—in employees’ regular pay rates and thus undercompensated them by calculating overtime pay on the basis of pay rates that were too low. Controulis v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, No. BC518518 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cnty., filed August 16, 2013). The plaintiff also claims that the company failed to timely provide a final paycheck when employees were discharged or quit. According to the complaint, the plaintiff was terminated during the year preceding the complaint’s filing while he was on a leave of absence.
Seeking to certify several classes of California employees, the plaintiff alleges failure to pay overtime wages, wage statement violations, waiting time penalties, unfair competition (that is, by underpaying its employees, the defendant had an unfair advantage over its competitors), and “Private Attorneys General Act.” As to the latter, the plaintiff claims that he may recover civil penalties under the Labor Code for the company’s alleged transgressions. He requests compensatory, consequential, general, and special damages; statutory penalties; statutory waiting time penalties; injunctive relief and restitution; civil penalties calculated per employee per pay period; interest; attorney’s fees; and costs.