Court of Appeals Affirms Rest and Meal Break Judgment for Class of Brink's Armored Car Employees
The Washington Court of Appeals has affirmed a $1.3 million judgment in favor of a class of armored car drivers and messengers who were denied their rest and meal periods by their employer, Brink’s Incorporated. That judgment was reached after a four week trial in late 2009 in front of King County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Trickey. The court ruled that Brink’s Incorporated has to pay back wages, plus interest, to 182 drivers and messengers for the period between 2004 and 2007 because it did not allow them an opportunity to take rest breaks and meal periods. The employees worked as messengers and drivers on armored trucks out of branch offices located in Seattle and Tacoma and picked up and delivered cash and other valuables throughout Western Washington.
Under Washington state law, all employees are entitled to 10 minutes of rest break time for each 4 hours of work, and a 30 minute meal period after 5 working hours. The Court of Appeals affirmed that because of their continuous work responsibilities guarding the high value property on the trucks, the Brink’s employees had no personal time during the day when they could rest and eat.
“We are very pleased with the decision. These employees worked very hard under difficult conditions and faced considerable dangers every day. They deserved to be treated in compliance with the law,” stated one of the attorneys for the class, Adam J. Berger, of the Seattle firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender. Although the original judgment was for $1.3 million, with additional post judgment interest, the total amount of back pay and interest is estimated to exceed $1.5 million.
More information about the class action case may be found on the website of class counsel, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, at www.sgb-law.com.
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Schroeter Goldmark & Bender is one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest plaintiffs’ law firms, and has been assisting injured families and workers for more than 35 years.