PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of Les Schwab Tire Centers employees in Oregon will receive $2,500 checks this month as part of a settlement over a lawsuit that said the chain hadn’t given workers enough time for lunch.
The suit alleged the Schwab employees hadn’t received the full, 30-minute lunch breaks that Oregon law requires for hourly employees, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The Bend-based company continues to maintain that it provides the requisite lunch breaks but agreed to pay $16 million to over 3,700 employees to settle the case.
The two plaintiffs who brought the case in 2017 will receive $15,000 each. Twenty-five others who submitted declarations in support of the lawsuit will receive a $1,000, in addition to the regular $2,500 payment. The plaintiffs’ attorneys will receive $3.9 million.
“At Les Schwab, we believe in treating our employees fairly and providing opportunities for them to not just have a job, but also to build a career with our company. Our employees are at the center of what we do and the reputation we have built,” Dale Thompson, Schwab’s chief marketing officer, said in a written statement.
Les Schwab is one of Oregon’s biggest companies, with annual sales of $1.8 billion. It has nearly 500 stores in 10 western states. In September, the family-owned company announced plans to sell to a California investment firm.
The court will mail the settlements directly to eligible employees and former employees.