Don’t Pass the Ketchup: HJ Heinz Workers Lose Bid for Rounding Class ActionNovember 16, 2012 – Articles Lexology
A federal judge has dismissed a proposed nationwide class action in which factory workers sued H.J. Heinz Company on a theory that their hours were improperly rounded down and they were not paid for all hours worked. The case is entitled Mendez v. H J Heinz Company LP and was filed in the Central District of California.
The Court concluded that, in order for a valid class action to lie, there must exist a pattern of systematic rounding down, or a showing that the rounding policies were applied/implemented in a manner that manifestly favored management. In other words, if the rounding principles worked as they should (as envisioned by the FLSA) there would be evidence of rounding up as well as rounding down. The Court found no evidence that this rounding procedure was a one-way street in favor of the Company.