US: Coca-Cola Enterprises faces $200m lawsuit
Coca-Cola Enterprises is facing legal action from nine former and current employees for a total of US$200m, who claim the company cheated them out of wages.
According to reports, the lawsuits involve workers at a sales centre in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The facility is owned by the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Southern California, which in turn is part of CCE.
The claimants are arguing that thousands of dollars were being shaved off overtime wages by managers who were expected to edit off overtime hours from an electronic timekeeping system.
The lawsuits claim Atlanta-based CCE's local bottling operation also retaliated against those who tried to stop the practice.
Peter Santilli, a former district sales manager at the sales center, said he was fired after complaining about the practice. Other plaintiffs claimed they worked 11-hour days, only to be talked out of claiming overtime by company managers.
In US press reports, CCE spokesman John Downs said the company is not aware of problems in the California operation, as claimed in the lawsuit.
"We have clear policies and procedures regarding pay and workplace standards, and if any individual has violated these policies, we will fix the situation immediately," Downs said. "We have no reason to believe that this has occurred."
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