Toyota Facing Class Action Lawsuit From Paint Workers

Aug 30, 2012

GEORGETOWN, Ky. - An ongoing dispute between Toyota paint shop workers and the automaker can go ahead as a class action lawsuit. The ruling was recently handed down by Scott Circuit Court Judge Rob Johnson.

 In 1999, the workers raised the question of compensation for time spent putting on special protective suits and walking to and from their jobs. Toyota spokesperson Rick Hesterberg says the company offered a settlement in 2006 that was generally well-received.

"We thought we acted fairly and in accordance with the law. The offer was accepted by nearly all of our team members that were impacted, which kind of confirmed to us that our team members also believed it was a fair offer," he says.

But Attorney Nora Coffman, who is representing the workers, says the settlement did not address any complaints prior to 2001 – and some disagreements remained.

"The settlement offer at that time reflected eight minutes to accomplish all of these tasks per day and we think that it is in excess of the eight minutes. That is something we're dealing with in the lawsuit," Coffman says.

Toyota now has ten days to appeal the ruling or allow the class action suit to move forward.