Some companies think that, by simply paying their employees a salary rather than an hourly wage, they can avoid paying those employees overtime. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has very specific requirements for the type of work employees must perform in order to qualify for overtime exemption.
Albertsons LLC, a grocery chain, is currently facing an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit from one of its employees in Florida. Jamie Cook began working for Albertsons in April 1998 as an Assistant Manager. He says he was paid by the hour until June 2012. However, despite being switched over to a salary, Cook alleges that he was regularly required to work in excess of 40 hours per week, but was never paid for that extra time. The overtime lawsuit also alleges that Cook, along with other employees, was required to take a 30-minute lunch break during each shift. The employees were required to clock out for their lunch break and clock back in after half an hour but Cook alleges that they were frequently required to work through their lunch break. The overtime lawsuit alleges that this practice of working through lunch breaks without pay was true of hourly employees as well as salaried managers. Requiring employees to perform work for which they are not paid is an illegal employment practice under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The overtime class action lawsuit further alleges that Albertsons failed to maintain accurate records of all of the time worked by its employees. This is in direct violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is all a plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant violated the FLSA knowingly and intentionally. Such proof can lead to a court granting a much higher reward to the plaintiff, which the defendant would be ordered to pay.
Although Florida employment law does not require employers to provide a lunch break to employees over the age of 18, it does state that, if an employer provides a lunch break, the employees should be able to use that time as their own, rather than continuing to work for the employer. If an employee works through a break, then the employer is required to pay the employee for that time. Having an employee continue to perform work after clocking out is an unacceptable employment practice.
The overtime class action lawsuit alleges that the failure to pay overtime wages was more than just oversight on the part of the grocery store chain. Rather, Cook alleges that it was “uniform policy”. According to the overtime class action lawsuit, Cook and other employees. who were not properly compensated for the overtime hours that they worked, suffered harm as a result of Albertson’s illegal employment practices. The class action lawsuit is seeking payment for Cook, and any other employees who decide to join the class, for the overtime hours that they worked for Albertsons.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.”
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by baggers, assistant managers, cash register clerks, and stockers and other grocery store and super market workers against national chains including Krogers, Albertsons, Meijier, Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Aldi and others for misclassifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Naperville and Joliet. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Naperville and Rockford overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.