T. J. Maxx Retail Chain Sued For Employee Misclassification
August 25, 2011
As our Costa Mesa employment lawyer blog has discussed previously, the classification of "exempt" or "non-exempt" employees continues to be an important employment issue in businesses across the country--as employee misclassification can lead to federal and state wage and hour law violations affecting the employment rights of hardworking Americans.
In recent wage and hour lawsuit news, a Las Vegas T.J. Maxx retail chain was sued this week by shift supervisors who worked at a retail warehouse, claiming that they were misclassified as managers, and therefore denied their legal right to overtime compensation.
The shift supervisors, Patricia Foster and Carolyn Dunn Luksza, are seeking class-action status in order to represent other individuals in similar positions who have also experienced employee misclassification--which according to the lawsuit would include around 40 to 60 other shift supervisors in the Las Vegas distribution warehouse.
The lawsuit claims that the shift supervisors were improperly classified as 'exempt' from overtime benefits and paid on a salary basis--thus allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, as the employees routinely worked over forty hours per week. Under the FLSA, most non-exempt employees are entitled by law to receive overtime compensation when they work more than forty hours in a work week, at one and one-half their regular hourly pay rates.
Under the FLSA, professional, administrative, and executive exemptions usually apply to employees at a high level who have the primary duty of exercising discretion, independent judgment and control over matters regarding the company's business.
The lawsuit claims that shift supervisors are not professionals, administrators or executives, and should not be exempt from the FLSA, as they do not have the authority to formulate business policies or make independent decisions.
According to the plaintiffs, their main responsibility is to supervise line workers who package and prepare clothes distribution packages for nationwide T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores throughout the country, with the primary function of manual labor--with little to no exercising of judgment while acting as a shift supervisor. The supervisors reportedly must maintain a quota that represents the number of packages shipped during each shift, by each shift supervisor.
This is not the first time that T.J. Maxx has been sued for employee misclassification. According to a recent annual report for the company, there are two current wage and hour class action lawsuits in California and Texas, along with cases in New York.
If you, or someone you know in Orange County, California has suffered from employee misclassification in the workplace, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.
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