SpaceX is a California company that designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. It was founded by Elon Musk, who also founded Paypal and is the CEO of Tesla Motors. Currently, the upstart company is facing two lawsuits in which former employees are claiming that SpaceX violated state labor laws.
The first lawsuit was brought by two former employees who are accusing SpaceX of improperly laying off hundreds of employees in late July without notice or compensation.
The second lawsuit, a former employee alleges that SpaceX denied workers breaks and required them to work “off the clock.” The employee claims that company managers pressured workers with schedules and workloads that denied them meal and rest breaks required by law. The employee also stated in the lawsuit that SpaceX employees were not compensated for missed breaks and other work the company required them to perform off the clock.
The employee seeks back-pay with interest, other damages and penalties. The case may obtain class-action status, which would allow it to include other hourly employees that were treated similarly.
California labor law requires employers to provide 30-minute meal breaks for employees who work more than five hours. A second meal break is required if the employee works more than 10 hours. Employers must give employees a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked.
California laws require that employers pay employees an extra hour of pay for each workday a meal break was not provided and an additional hour of pay for each workday when a rest break was not provided.
If your company does not provide these meal and rest breaks, they are violating California labor law. You may also have a case against your employer if it requires you to round down your hours worked, as this could constitute unpaid wages. If you work off the clock and do not get paid for those hours, that is another labor law violation. These situations are unfortunately quiet common, but they are also illegal.