Fuyao Glass America, one of the Dayton area’s fastest growing manufacturers, is being sued by 636 current and former workers to change the way the company schedules and pays employees, said the Columbus attorney representing the plaintiffs.
The class-action suit’s “notice period,” or period in which new plaintiffs can be named in the case, is now closed, said attorney Bob DeRose.
“We are in the process of setting out a discovery schedule,” DeRose said. “That will be the next thing you see on the docket.”
“Discovery” is a pre-trial phase in a legal case in which attorneys gather evidence and interview witnesses.
Fuyao has about 2,300 workers making automobile safety glass in Moraine. The case goes back to the original plaintiff, Julia Staggs, who filed the suit in June 2017 in Dayton’s federal court. Staggs worked at Fuyao from September to December 2016, according to the suit.
Staggs alleged that she worked overtime at Fuyao without being paid a time-and-a-half wages for that overtime work. She also claimed that she and others were not completely relieved of duties during what were supposed to be breaks from work.
DeRose and the plaintiffs have said that Fuyao automatically deducts from payroll for lunch breaks — whether or not employees actually take the breaks. Some employees work through lunch or they don’t take the entire 30 minutes as an uninterrupted break from work, they claim.
“They’re not paying for all the hours worked,” DeRose has told the Dayton Daily News. “We are maintaining this is a company-wide policy.”
In February 2018, a federal judge granted class-action status to plaintiffs in the case.
Attorneys for Fuyao have said little about the case, but they deny the charges. A message was sent to Fuyao attorneys this morning for this story.