IKON seeks to remove unfair labor practices lawsuit to federal court

By Elizabeth Alt | Jul 9, 2018

IKON Office Solutions Inc., Ricoh USA Inc., and Ricoh Americas Corporation recently filed a motion to remove to federal court a lawsuit claiming the company violated California Labor laws by not allowing employees to take meals and breaks and failing to reimburse or pay overtime wages. 

The defendants claim in their June 22 filing that removal to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California from Sonoma County Superior Court is proper under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.

Augusto De Leon filed a complaint against Ricoh, who took over IKON in 2012. De Leon seeks to certify the complaint to include a class of service technicians who worked for the defendants. The complaint alleged nine counts for “failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, failure to provide meal periods, failure to permit rest periods, failure to reimburse business expenses, failure to pay final wages, failure to provide accurate, itemized wage statements, failure to maintain accurate records, unfair competition, and relief under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.”

De Leon is seeking to be the representative for approximately 380 former service technicians. The complaint alleges “as a policy, practice, guideline and/or procedure, Ricoh instructs service technicians to clock out and continue working off the clock during meal periods in order to complete a job in a timely manner” and employs this policy for lawful rest breaks without paying “the legally required premium wage for non-compliant rest periods.”

The plaintiffs are seeking damages, civil penalties and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act, injunctive relief, and restitution.

In the motion for removal, Ricoh claims removal to the Northern California District Court is proper for several reasons, stating, “Plaintiff and defendants are citizens of different states, there are more than 100 putative class members, and the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000.”

The motion states that “defendants have caused injuries in Sonoma County … assignment to the San Francisco or Oakland division of this court is proper.” Ricoh states that the Class Action Fairness Act’s requirements have been met, noting that “the total amount in controversy for plaintiff's overtime claim alone is approximately $34,642,572.” well over the $5 million requirement.

Ricoh and IKON are represented by John Giovannone, Amanda I. Fry, and Ryan McCoy with Seyfarth Shaw LLP in San Francisco.

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