Conagra Files Notice of Removal in California Class Action Wage Lawsuit

Conagra on Wednesday filed a notice of removal for a class action lawsuit that alleges the packaged foods company violated California labor and wage laws. 

Under the Class Action Fairness Act, a defendant has the right to remove a state court action to a federal district court if any member of the proposed class is a citizen of a state other than that of the defendant, the proposed class includes more than 100 individuals, the defendant is not a governmental entity and the claims exceed $5 million. Conagra claims the lawsuit meets all required criteria. 

California resident Hilda Alvarez, who worked for defendants Conagra Brands Inc., a Delaware based corporation, and its subsidiary Conagra Foods Packaged Foods LLC from July to August 2021, filed the complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court in October. The lawsuit alleges that defendants failed to compensate her for minimum and overtime wages and business expenses, as well as to pay her owed wages in a timely manner after her employment was terminated. In addition, Alvarez alleges the company did not provide accurate wage statements or uninterrupted rest and meal periods. 

“Throughout the statutory period, Defendants failed to furnish Plaintiff and the Class with accurate, itemized wage statements showing all applicable hourly rates, and all gross and net wages earned (including correct hours worked, correct wages earned for hours worked, correct overtime hours worked, correct wages for meal periods that were not provided in accordance with California law, correct wages for rest periods that were not authorized and permitted to take in accordance with California law,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs are seeking restitution of unpaid wages with prejudgment interest, reimbursement of business expenses, statutory wage penalties pursuant to Sections 203 and 226 of the California Labor Code, attorneys’ fees and injunctive relief. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Moon & Yang APC

The defendants are represented by Husch Blackwell LLP.