Kyla Asbury Oct. 28, 2014, 10:07pm

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - A production worker filed a class action lawsuit against Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama LLC, claiming employees are not being paid enough for mandatory stretching and exercise sessions.

Hyundai requires employees to perform on the clock work in overtime and fails to pay for all overtime worked, according to a complaint filed Oct. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Frank Bates claims every shift commences with a mandatory production meeting and exercise/stretching session.

During the week, the company pays employees for attending the meeting. However, in mandatory overtime, the company does not.

"The unpaid overtime is .25 of an hour," the complaint states. "Spread across thousands of employees, Hyundai is saving over one-half million dollars per year by failing to pay for all overtime worked."

Bates claims every working day after clocking in, Hyundai requires production employees known as "3c3s" to attend a production meeting and exercise/stretching session.

The mandatory exercise/stretching is a work place program to prevent injuries, according to the suit.

"The meetings occurs after employees clock-in," the complaint states. "Monday through Friday, employees are compensated for .25 hours for attending these required meetings."

Bates claims since approximately 2012, Hyundai's corporate policy is not to pay .25 for the required production meeting and exercise/stretching session.

"The overtime rate is $37.47 per hour, by not paying the .25 per employee the company saves $9.37 per employee per overtime shift," the complaint states. "By designating HAIC weekend time as unpaid, the payroll savings is in excess of $500,000.00 per year."

Bates claims that continuing to deny employees overtime pay for required work going forward will result in lost wages for the production workers and monetary savings to the corporation in the millions of dollars.

"Employees have unsuccessfully complained to Hyundai Team Relations personnel to be compensated for the meeting time which occurs during mandatory overtime," the complaint states.

Hyundai is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to compensate employees during weekend exercise/stretching sessions, according to the suit.

Bates is seeking class certification and compensatory damages. He is being represented by Lee Winston and Roderick T. Cooks of Winston Cooks.

The case is assigned to District Judge William Keith Watkins.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama case number: 2:14-cv-01066

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