If you have ever wondered how discount retailers manage to keep their prices so low, the answer may be that they are allegedly cutting corners in other areas of their business.
In order to make sure that employers do not take advantage of their workers, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has strict requirements regarding the minimum wage that workers can be paid, and specific instructions for paying employees overtime. All employees working within the United States are to be paid no less than $7.25 per hour. In the event that an employee works more than eight hours a day or forty hours a week, the employee must be paid one and one-half times her normal hourly rate for all overtime worked.
The FLSA does provide exceptions to this rule, but the Act is very specific about the types of duties that an employee must perform in order to qualify for exemption from overtime. The FLSA has three main categories for overtime exemption: administration (employees who perform primarily office work and provide administrative assistance directly to an executive); executive (those who spend the majority of their time managing other employees and have significant say in the hiring, firing, and discipline of those employees); and professional (workers whose job requires a particular level of education or set of skills, including doctors, lawyers, artists, and musicians).
The executive category is probably the most misunderstood, as many employers classify all of their managers as exempt from overtime, simply because they earn a salary and part of their job entails managing other employees. However, many managers still spend the majority of their time performing the same tasks as hourly workers. If this is the case, then under the FLSA, those employees are entitled to overtime in the event that they work more than forty hours a week.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit, TJX Companies Inc., the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods, has allegedly misclassified its assistant managers as exempt from overtime. The lawsuit was filed by Workou Zenebe, a former assistant manager who worked at a TJ Maxx in Florida. Zenebe says that he worked for TJ Maxx for more than 30 years, during which time he was promoted to assistant manager. According to the complaint that he filed, “In the assistant manager position for the Defendant, Plaintiff’s primary duties were of a non-exempt nature. In the position of a salaried assistant manager, Plaintiff was mis-classified by Defendant as being exempt from the overtime protections of the FLSA.”
The class action wage and hour lawsuit has been filed on behalf of “all mis-classified, salaried assistant manager employees of Defendant who worked in the capacity of assistant manager” and were made to work more than forty hours per week without the proper overtime compensation.
This is just one of several lawsuits filed against TJX Companies in the past few years. Another wage and hour lawsuit against the company alleges that forced overtime without pay is normal at stores owned by TJX, and employees are allegedly discouraged from asking about overtime pay. TJX denies the allegations in these cases.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Marshalls, TJ Max, Victoria’s Secret, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart and other retail chains for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, failing to pay for time spent on security checks, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.