Legal

Blue Apron Hit With Employee Labor Lawsuit

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Blue Apron employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company over a variety of alleged labor law violations.

According to BuzzFeed News, the suit, filed in October by former Blue Apron employee Rashida Fairley on behalf of all hourly employees, alleges that workers weren’t paid overtime, or for meal breaks, among other violations. The employees are seeking back pay for missed wages and a trial by jury.

The lawsuit was moved to a federal court in California last week. According to the court documents, Blue Apron’s website states that “we win together, not alone; we operate with integrity.”

“If Blue Apron truly does operate with integrity and is accountable,” the lawsuit reads, “then it will pay its employees all of their hard-earned wages.”

Blue Apron has denied all of Fairley’s claims in its initial response in court.  According to court documents filed by the company, the number of employees represented in the suit, covering between 2014 and 2018, is at least 2,805 and could cost the company over $5 million.

Blue Apron has food processing plants in New Jersey, Texas, and California, where this suit was filed. State regulators have already fined the California facility for multiple health and safety violations during the corresponding time in the lawsuit. In addition, the UC Berkeley Labor Center recently published a report on working conditions in a meal-kit factory in California that detailed long hours, low wages, uncomfortable working conditions, and safety accidents.

This isn’t the first legal headache for Blue Apron. Last year it was hit by a lawsuit from a disgruntled investor who claims the firm knowingly and intentionally misled him and its other investors.

The company is also being sued by an Iowa-based meat processing company, which claims Blue Apron failed to make good on a $26 million contract to purchase free-range chickens, which led to mass layoffs and the closure of a plant in Arkansas.

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