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Jackson Hewitt Franchisee Sued in Alleged Upaid Overtime Class Action


Some employers try to get out of paying their employees overtime by giving them a salary and classifying them as managers. Many employees are unfamiliar with the requirements for overtime exemption as laid out by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As a result, when their employer tells them that they do not qualify for overtime compensation, many employees take their employer’s word for it rather than question the classification.

Although the FLSA does provide overtime exempt status for some salaried employees, it requires more than just the payment method and the job title to exempt employees from the proper overtime compensation. There are three categories for overtime exemption, each of which has specific job requirements. The first is administrative and requires that the employee provide administrative assistance directly to an executive. The second category is executive and requires that the employee’s main responsibilities consist of managing other employees. This category frequently gets confused with managers who spend part of their time managing other employees, even if the majority of their duties remain those of an hourly employee. The third category is professional and specifies that the employee must have a particular set of skills or education in order to perform her job.

In a recent overtime class action lawsuit against TaxPrep1, a Florida franchisee of Jackson Hewitt Inc., employees allege that the company deliberately misclassified them as managers and paid them a weekly salary in order to avoid paying them the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly wage. The lawsuit also alleges that the company “forced” employees with the title of “manager” to work significantly more than the standard 40 hours per week without paying them for the extra hours. Despite the fact that these employees were classified as “managers” the overtime lawsuit alleges that, rather than spending the majority of their time managing other employees, their duties remained the same as the duties they performed as hourly employees. The only difference was their weekly salary.

The overtime class action lawsuit was filed by Lisa Kelly and Sharon Parker in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Both Kelly and Parker still work for TaxPrep1 and they allege that someone higher up in the company knew exactly what they were doing when they misclassified their employees as managers and switched their pay from an hourly rate to a salary. Kelly and Parker are seeking to represent a class of similarly situated employees who are likely unaware that they have been cheated out of their overtime compensation. They believe that there are as many as 80 or 90 employees who could potentially join the class. The overtime lawsuit is seeking compensation for the unpaid overtime wages in addition to attorneys’ fees, liquidated damages, and other costs. The total is estimated to be around $1 million, but the final number will depend on how many employees choose to join the class.

Jackson Hewitt was one of the largest tax preparation services before they declared bankruptcy. They were right behind H&R Block, which only goes to show that even large, trusted companies sometimes violate employment law. For this reason, it is a good idea for employees to make sure that they become aware of the federal requirements for overtime exemption to make sure they are not cheated out of their earned wages.

The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating potential unpaid overtime claims against large corporations, franchisors and their franchisees such as Jackson Hewitt, H&R Block and other corporations for claims for non-management employees for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, failing to pay for breaks, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, 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.

The Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Mount Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Elmhurst and Glenview 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.