One man is suing El Milagro, one of the region’s largest suppliers of tortillas, on behalf of “hundreds or thousands” of similarly situated Illinois workers in a class action complaint filed June 13 in Cook County Circuit Court, saying the company didn't abide by the law in how it paid workers for unused vacation time at the end of their time with the company.
Jose Solorzano worked for a short time at El Milagro’s North
Riverside location and said he and others were not fully compensated for
accrued vacation pay upon their termination over a period of 10 years. El
Milagro is a wholesale manufacturer of tortillas and also owns and operates
restaurants like the one that employed Solorzano from October 2014 to June
2015. His various job duties included cooking, washing dishes and cleaning the
restaurant, the lawsuit said.
According to its website, El Milagro operates six stores and
taquerias in Chicago, North Riverside, Austin, Texas, and Atlanta, Ga. The
website boasts that El Milagro, which has been making tortillas and related
food products since 1950, has grown to hold a “dominant position” among
tortilla makers and distributors in the Midwest.
The company’s vacation policy, per Solorzano’s complaint, is
to grant a week of paid leave after a year of employment, with the amount of
paid time off increasing over subsequent years of employment. Solorzano said he
and potential class members did earn vacation pay while they worked. However,
their final paychecks came up short.
Under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, vacation
pay is supposed to vest as it is earned. But Solorzano said he was not fully
paid for unused vacation time as part of his final compensation.
Solorzano formally alleged one count, a violation of the
Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. The class would include anyone who
worked at El Milagro since June 13, 2006, who did not collect a prorated share
of earned vacation pay as part of their final compensation, a group of other
potential plaintiffs Solorzano’s lawsuit estimated could number in the
In addition to class certification, Solorzano seeks the
monetary equivalent of all earned vacation pay due him and other class members,
statutory damages as codified in the Wage act, a declaration the company’s vacation
policy violates the Act, an enjoinder keeping El Milagro from violating the Act
in the future as well as legal fees.
Representing Solorzano and the putative class of additional
plaintiffs in this action are attorneys Alvar Ayala, Christopher J. Williams
and Neil Kelley of Workers’ Law Office, Chicago.