A unit of BMC Stock Holdings has agreed to pay $4.55 million as part of a class action settlement over complaints it violated California's wage and hour laws, court filings show.

The settlement was reached Oct. 19, 2017, and is slated to be considered by a federal district judge on May 21. Nearly 9,400 people who worked a total of 431,919 work weeks are covered in the settlement. After attorney's fees and other deductions are made, they'll get roughly $3.06 million. If everyone collects, they'll each get about $7.10 per week worked.

While it agreed to pay $4.55 million, BMC continues to deny claims it broke California law and says the settlement shouldn't be considered an admission of wrongdoing. In one reply, it gives 40 different defenses why the plaintiffs' claims don't hold water.

The case of Gonzalez vs. BMC West stems from allegations that BMC failed to follow state laws with regard to workers at its Indio, Calif., Construction Solutions facility.

According to a motion filed April 11 to approve the class action settlement, BMC was accused of:

  • Failing to pay all minimum, regular, and overtime wages by paying them only for scheduled work hours;
  • Failing to provide legally-compliant mail and rest periods or providing them "on an untimely basis;"
  • Putting wrong employer information on pay statements.
  • Failing to pay all wages due former workers when they resigned or were terminated because of the dispute.

The original complaint by four workers was filed in state court in November 2016. A similar case was filed in January 2017. The actions eventually were consolidated and moved to federal court in January 2018 as part of an effort to settle the cases privately.

According to the motion, BMC supervisors or managers would fill out in advance the work schedules of their workers and then have each employee "sign 'timesheets' showing the pre-determined work schedules as the employee's actual work times."

Plaintiffs' handwritten time records and BMC's electronic driver logs "leads to the conclusion that Class Members were routinely underpaid for actual 'hours worked' within the meaning of California law."

The timesheets that BMC officials filled out also showed the same block of time each day when employees got meal breaks, the motion claims. California requires a 30-minute meal break if a person works more than five hours. The motion says that in about 3.8% of all employee work shifts, employees' meal break came after working more than five hours straight.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs claimed $12.4 million in damages, three-quarter of which involved claims that BMC between August 2016 and January 2017 gave out wage statements with the wrong corporate name and that BMC didn't pay all wages due when employees quit or were fired.

News of the agreement first came to light in a Bloomberg Law article.