Assistant store managers for the clothing retailer, Burlington Coat Factory, have swiftly resolved claims of unpaid wages in New Jersey federal court. The collective action lawsuit had aimed to recover unpaid overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for current and former Assistant Store Managers employed by Burlington Coat Factory between from February 4, 2019 and February 28, 2021 across the United States working over 40 hours per week. Over 1,700 current and former assistant store managers that were allegedly misclassified and exempt from overtime pay will benefit from the $11 million payout.
The lawsuit specifically claimed that Burlington had misclassified its assistant store managers as exempt under federal overtime laws despite being entitled to unpaid wages for all hours worked as well as for overtime work for which they did not receive overtime premium pay, as required by law, and liquidated damages under the FLSA. Many of these assistant store managers consistently worked 50-55 hours per week without any overtime compensation. Their work load did not include managerial responsibilities nor the ability to exercise meaningful independent judgment and discretion. Their primary job duties, included stocking shelves, working the cash register, taking out garbage, unloading freight, building displays, cleaning, folding and hanging clothes, and customer service much like all other hourly employees entitled to overtime.
If you work in retail or food industry as an assistant store manager, make sure you are being paid in accordance with the law and not missing out on significant wages like overtime pay. Companies will often give out “managerial” titles that must still complete similar job responsibilities as hourly employees and then classify you incorrectly as exempt from overtime. These tactics are commonly used to save on labor costs at the employee’s expense. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your employment rights, don’t hesitate to give our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, a call for a free and confidential consultation at (212) 300-0375. You can also visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your rights.