Joe’s produce company has been one of the biggest producers of ice cream in the country, producing more than a million servings a day.
But the company is in trouble as its ice cream is increasingly falling apart, and it has been hit by lawsuits filed by some of its employees and customers who claim they were treated like second-class citizens at the hands of their bosses.
Joe’s, the oldest of the three major ice cream companies, is also in bankruptcy protection after the 2008 stock market crash.
The company has made the news in recent weeks as its financial situation has worsened, with its shares dropping as much as 10% in recent trading.
Joe has been the subject of several lawsuits in recent years alleging that it paid workers too little or no overtime and failed to provide proper health care and other benefits.
Last month, a judge in Los Angeles agreed to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by employees who claim the company paid them less than $5 per hour.
Joe told ABC News that it has never paid employees less than the federal minimum wage.
“We believe that any time you pay people below the federal rate of $7.25 an hour, you should be paid for it,” Joe’s chief financial officer, Steve Mascarenhas, told ABC affiliate KNBC-TV in Los Angles.
Joe said the lawsuits have caused it to lose nearly $1 billion in annual revenue.
But in a statement, the company said it will take the necessary actions to prevent lawsuits and is seeking to resolve them as quickly as possible.
Joe says it pays its workers $15.35 an hour and offers health care, vacation and other health benefits.
The lawsuits have been filed against Joe’s parent company, Anthem Health.
Anthem, which was founded by a man named David Geffen in 1977, is one of America’s biggest employers of health care workers.
Anthem has long been a target of labor rights activists.
In 2002, for example, a class of health insurance workers filed a federal class-wide complaint that said it was not paying employees enough, and demanded that the company pay overtime.
In 2005, a federal judge ruled that Anthem’s employees must be paid at least $8 an hour.
A class-size lawsuit filed in 2014 by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said that some of Anthem’s workers earn as little as $4.15 an hour at the company.
In October, the union won an agreement that would raise the hourly rate to $10 by 2022, though the agreement did not address overtime.
A group of the workers filed an appeal of the ruling, saying that the new rate is too low and that they are owed wages that are lower than what they earned when they were working at Anthem in 2007.
The union has been pressing for an increase in the hourly wage and has been seeking to bring the rate up to $15 per hour by 2022.
Joe and Anthem have not commented on the lawsuits.
The cases are separate from one filed last year in Los Angeles against the company, alleging that its executives and management violated workers’ rights by not paying overtime and failing to provide health insurance.
That case was dismissed.