Home Depot is currently facing a class action lawsuit from one current and three former hourly, non-exempt employees. These employees allege that they were regularly required to work off-the-clock, often in excess of eight hours a day and forty hours a week, without receiving payment for these overtime hours. They also allege that they were regularly required to skip their meal and rest breaks without receiving the requisite compensation.
The proposed class consists of all hourly, non-exempt employees (excluding installers, supervisors and managers) who worked for Home Depot in a California retail store from August 14, 2009 until the date of certification of the class.
The plaintiffs allege that Home Depot had a corporate practice of erasing and/or reducing the amount of overtime wages paid to hourly employees. This was allegedly done in several ways, including allegedly having managers submit forms to human resources to reduce the hours for which the employees were paid. Also, on those occasions when employees worked past their shift to finish their assigned duties, help customers, or discuss work-related matters with managers, Home Depot allegedly refused to pay them for those hours beyond their scheduled shifts. Additionally, when employees closed the store, they were allegedly required to wait, after having clocked out, for the store manager to complete his/her closing duties before they were permitted to leave the store. Home Depot allegedly failed to pay them for this waiting time.
The Industrial Welfare Commission requires that employees be given at least a ten-minute rest break for every four hours worked and at least a thirty-minute meal break for every five hours worked. If these breaks are not taken, the employer is required to pay the employee for one hour of their regular pay for each day that a break is not taken. The plaintiffs allege that they were regularly required to work through these breaks (often to help customers because they were understaffed) without receiving the requisite compensation.
The plaintiffs also allege that Home Depot intentionally failed to provide them with accurate, itemized pay stubs. This was done by, among other things, failing to accurately list the total hours the employee worked as a result of erasing or reducing the employee’s hours and/or failing to record hours worked off-the-clock through meal breaks or when clocked out at the end of their shifts.
Due to Home Depot’s failure to provide accurate, itemized wage statements to all of its hourly, non-exempt employees, the plaintiffs have been prevented from determining the accurate number of hours worked and the extent of underpayment on the part of Home Depot. They also allege that this has delayed their ability to demand and recover the underpayment of wages.
The plaintiffs further allege that Home Depot did not timely pay its employees all wages upon termination of employment. The California Labor code requires an employer to furnish an employee with all wages due upon termination within seventy-two hours of said termination. If the employer fails to provide all wages earned within the required time period, the California Labor Code dictates that the employee’s wages must to continue until all wages have been paid, lasting no more than thirty days. The plaintiffs allege that it has been more than thirty days since numerous former employees of Home Depot have terminated their employment with Home Depot, yet they still have not received all of their earned wages.
Two of the plaintiffs are also alleging that they, as well as numerous other employees, incurred necessary business expenses for which they were not fully reimbursed, including work-related travel and mileage expenses. The plaintiffs allege that they were required to travel in their own vehicles to attend work-related training sessions held at distant locations but were never reimbursed for the actual mileage expenses they incurred. This is in violation of the California Labor code, which states that “an employer must reimburse employees for all necessary expenditures.”
The plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, damages, restitution penalties, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, interest, and costs.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour claims including overtime, meal breaks, vacation pay, and tips though out Illinois and the Chicago area including in Evanston. Our offices are conveniently located in Oak Brook Terrace and Chicago, Illinois. If you think your employer may have misclassified you as exempt, contact one of our Chicago or Oakbrook attorneys today at 312-869-4095 or fill out our online form today.