Hyundai Sued Over Hourly Workers’ Lunch Breaks, Overtime

Hyundai Motor Co. was sued in federal court for allegedly failing to pay hourly workers at a Philadelphia plant overtime and cheating them out of breaks.

Hyundai Rotem, a unit of the Seoul-based manufacturer, automatically deducted 30 minutes of paid time from employee paychecks for each shift, including shifts in which a meal break wasn’t taken, Olivia Drake, an assembly-line worker at the railcar-parts plant, said in a complaint filed today in Philadelphia. The company’s actions violate federal and state wage laws, she alleged.

Drake, who has worked for the company since May 2010, “regularly did not take a bona-fide 30 minute uninterrupted lunch break during weeks where she worked more than 40 hours,” according to the lawsuit.

Hyundai Rotem also failed to pay employees for hours worked in excess of their regular shifts, according to the complaint, which seeks to represent employees who worked at the facility within the last three years.

Hyundai Motor agreed in 2010 to shift deliveries of its automobiles from New York and Baltimore to Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. Hyundai Rotem, South Korea’s largest railcar maker, ships chassis of rail cars to the port.

A phone message left at Hyundai Rotem in Philadelphia seeking comment on suit wasn’t immediately returned.

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

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