A lawsuit was filed on December 18, 2014 against Petco Animal Supplies Stores, Inc.(“Petco”), who own and/or operate a privately held nationwide pet supply and pet services store with over 1,300 locations in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The lawsuit alleges that Petco has failed to pay proper minimum wages to, and has taken unlawful deductions from, pet stylists, groomers, and bathers in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the wage and hour and/or labor laws of New York, California, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Affected employees include any pet stylist, groomer, and bather who have worked at any Petco location within the last six years.
Plaintiffs allege that Petco required them to purchase their own pet grooming equipment, such as nail clippers, blades, brushes, scissors, and shedding tools. They claim that these grooming tools costs as much as $2,000, and that they were required to re-purchase them every four to six weeks. Plaintiffs further allege that on weeks in which they were required to purchase such equipment, their wages fell below the applicable minimum wage rate. Plaintiffs were paid piece-rate wages based on a percentage of the fee Petco charged for every dog they groomed. Consequently, Plaintiffs allege that they were not compensated for additional work done outside of these services. This includes time spent cleaning and maintaining the pet salon.
Plaintiffs alleged that they received unlawful deductions from their wages in accordance with Petco’s compensation policy. Plaintiffs allege that all coupons or promotions provided by Petco would result in a deduction from their wages, since they were paid based on a percentage of dogs groomed. Plaintiffs also allege that any customer complaints would cause Petco to waive their grooming fees, and accordingly, result in a total loss of compensation for the Plaintiff. Where applicable, Plaintiffs allege that Petco failed to provide complete wage statements which specified the number of piece-rate units earned and all applicable hourly rates, and failed to pay all wages due immediately upon discharge and within the time required by the law. Similarly, where applicable, Plaintiffs allege that Petco failed to provide Plaintiffs with a 30 minute break every 5 hours, or failed to compensate them when they were not provided with such a break.
This lawsuit seeks to recover the difference between the Plaintiff classes’ wages and the full minimum wage and reimbursement of all unlawful deductions made from their pay. Also, where applicable, this lawsuit seeks statutory damages for failing to provide accurate wage statements.
Anyone who has worked as a pet stylist, groomer, or bather and was paid piece-rate wages within the past six years may have a wage claim. Please contact the employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, (212) 300-0375, to schedule a free consultation so that we can discuss your rights under the FLSA and NYLL.
Current and former pet stylists, groomers, and bathers of Petco should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, (212) 300-0375 to see if you are eligible to join the case. You can also view the complaint here.