Derrel's Mini Storage Faces Class-Action Lawsuit From Former Self-Storage Employees

Two former employees of Derrel’s Mini Storage Inc., a Fresno, Calif.-based self-storage operator, have brought a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegedly failing to provide uninterrupted meal times and breaks as well as not properly compensating for business expenses or overtime. The suit, filed on May 7 in Kern County, Calif., Superior Court, also alleges that Derrel’s violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by “unlawfully, unfairly and/or deceptively” obtaining credit reports on prospective employees without valid consent forms.

Plaintiffs Rick Kutzman and Jamie Leonardo were classified as non-exempt workers during their employment with Derrel’s from October 2017 to February 2018 and paid an hourly wage, according to the complaint. The suit brings nine causes of action against the storage operator, each carrying a demand for compensation. The still-pending class-action case would open potential punitive damages for former California employees who worked for the company up to four years prior to the filing.

Kutzman and Leonardo allege Derrel’s knew work demands sometimes prevented them from having 30 minutes of uninterrupted lunch time or a full 10-minute break every four hours, and failed to compensate them properly. The suit also accuses the company of not correctly calculating payments related to incentive-based achievements. In addition, the plaintiffs accuse Derrel’s of requiring them to use their personal cellphones for job duties but didn’t reimburse them for incurred business expenses.

The complaint was filed by Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, a Northern California employment law firm specializing in helping employees fight unfair business practices.

Last year, Derrel’s settled an employment and housing discrimination case with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The case involved former employee Charlyn Foote, who was pregnant when she and her husband, Kyle Foote, agreed to be resident managers at a Bakersfield, Calif., location. Under the settlement, Derrel’s agreed to revise its policies regarding the onsite housing it provides to facility managers.

Derrel's Mini Storage has more than 50 facilities in Coastal and Central California. The operator’s portfolio comprises more than 11 million square feet of net rentable square feet. In 2016, company owner Derrel Ridenour donated $3 million in cash in addition to a previous gift of 4 acres of land to help Fresno County, Calif., build a new animal shelter.

Sources:
PRWeb, Labor Lawyers at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP Hit Derrel's Mini Storage, Inc. with Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged Meal Break and FCRA Violations
Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw, Case No. BCV-18-101098

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