L.A. Pays Sanitation Workers $26 Million for Denying Lunch Breaks

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council will be paying out $26 million to garbage truck drivers as a result of a settlement triggered by a complaint by drivers who alleged they were denied meal breaks, KPCC public radio reports. 

More than 1,000 current and former drivers filed suit against the city asserting that the stringent rules imposed by the city caused them to have to skip their meal breaks. Some of the rules affecting the drivers revolved around the prohibition of sleeping in their trucks or leaving designated routes, according to reporter Alice Walton.

The deal was agreed to in February, but kept private because it had not been approved by a judge. Now that a Superior Court judge has approved of the deal, the city council can proceed. 

The judge said that the impossibility of the drivers taking meal breaks was indeed a violation of state law. A city council motion determined that the drivers actually were owed as much as $40 million in damages, but the two sides decided that a $26 million settlement would be acceptable. 

The funds to pay the drivers will be drawn from the city’s Solid Waste Resources Revenue Fund, KPCC reports.



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