Breaking News


Hyundai Unit Must Face Assembly Line Worker’s Wages Suit

A Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) unit must face a Philadelphia worker’s lawsuit alleging the company failed to pay hourly employees overtime and cheated them on pay for shortened breaks.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter in Philadelphia today denied a request by Hyundai Rotem USA, a maker of railroad cars, that he throw out the complaint initially filed in February by assembly-line employee Olivia Drake.

She’s seeking class status on behalf of all workers that have been subjected to Hyundai’s allegedly unlawful practices during the past three years.

Buckwalter threw out a Pennsylvania state law minimum wage claim, while letting a federal Fair Labor Standards Act claim go forward. He rejected the company’s contention Drake had to first pursue arbitration under her union’s collective bargaining agreement.

“The union could decide for reasons completely unrelated to the merits of plaintiffs’ claims to deny the opportunity for arbitration,” the judge said. He called that procedure unconstitutional because it could force employees to waive a substantive statutory right.

The court hasn’t ruled on whether workers can sue as a group. Hyundai Rotem is a unit of Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co.

The case is Drake v. Hyundai Rotem USA, 13-cv-00868, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in the Chicago federal courthouse at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.