Kohl’s, the department store chain, has agreed to settle a collective action alleging unpaid wages to its assistant store managers. The $2.9 million pay out will resolve claims that the retailer incorrectly classified its assistant store managers as exempt from receiving overtime. This case was brought under the federal labor law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which covers a wide range of employee rights including overtime pay.
The initial lawsuit which was filed in January 2018, alleged that Kohl’s misclassified employees in assistant store manager positions as exempt from overtime pay and violated the FLSA when they failed to pay them at one and a half times their normal hourly rate when working over 40 hours per week. Nearly 900 assistant store managers opted to join this matter who alleged they consistently worked over 40 hours per work week. These affected employees claimed that they completed similar work as hourly employees, did not have significant authority over other employees, yet were not paid overtime when working long shifts. Although Kohl’s still denies any wrongdoing, the nearly $3 million settlement is a fantastic result that allows for a guaranteed monetary recovery now instead of waiting significantly longer facing the inherent risks of trial.
Misclassifying workers as exempt from overtime pay is unfortunately a common tactic used by employers to save on labor costs. Employees are often incorrectly given the label of “manager” or “assistant manager” even when their job duties barely differ from hourly workers. When they end up working as many or more hours than the hourly employees, they often do not receive the overtime pay they are entitled to under the FLSA. If you believe you may have been incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime pay, do not hesitate to call our employment law firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation. You can reach us at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for additional helpful information regarding your rights.