The popular drugstore chain, Duane Reade, has finally settled a 5 year long class action lawsuit that alleged it denied overtime pay to its employees. They have agreed to pay $13.5 million to cover claims that its assistant store managers were not paid for all of their hours worked in accordance to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
According to the lawsuit, Duane Reade required its Assistant Store Managers to work at least 55 hours per week but only paid them a set salary instead of hourly and denied them overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week. The lawsuit alleged that these Assistant Store Managers were incorrectly classified and considered exempt from receiving overtime pay simply because of their managerial job title. Their daily job responsibilities, however, indicated that they were mainly completing basic entry level work and should have been paid as an hourly worker and in turn paid overtime. The settlement, which is still pending court approval, is set to cover Assistant Store Managers of hundreds of New York Duane Reade locations since 2009.
Companies often misclassify workers as exempt from overtime, whether knowingly or unknowingly, giving them job titles that are usually paid on salary. These companies save money by paying a set salary while their workers are forced to work long hours without overtime pay. The bottom line is that many “assistant managers: on salary are actually legally entitled to receive overtime pay. If you or someone you know has concerns about their pay structure, please do not hesitate to call an employment lawyer. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP offers a free phone consultation with an experienced employment attorney who will address your questions and help see if you may have a wage claim. You can reach us at (212) 300–0375 or visit our website fslawfirm.com for more information.