A group of Dollar Tree employees have come together to file a wage and hour lawsuit against their employer. The numerous plaintiffs in the Dollar Tree wage and hour lawsuit argue that violations of the Labor Code entitle them to recover damages. California has strict rules about wage and hour tracking for those employees who work on an hourly basis.
What’s Behind California’s Dollar Tree Wage and Hour Lawsuit
When an employer tries to discourage the proper tracking or payment of the right hours, employees may be eligible to pursue a legal claim against the employer. The Dollar Tree wage and hour lawsuit alleges that the employees worked the legal definition of overtime. The California Code of Regulations requires that employees who work beyond a forty-hour week to be paid overtime for the additional hours. Hours worked beyond the forty-hour mark in many industries, including retail stores, must be paid to the employee at a rate of one and half times their typical hourly rate.
The Dollar Tree wage and hour lawsuit claims that the employees were asked not to track their hours for some activities beyond their forty hour workweek. The employees in the Dollar Tree wage and hour lawsuit say they spent more than 50% of their time in a managerial capacity.
The employees who filed suit claim that they were asked to stock shelves, unload trucks, build merchandise displays, run the register as a store clerk, bag groceries, order inventory, clean the store, carry out price changes, set up endcaps, receive vendors, complete bookkeeping, and manage grand openings and work re-sets, among other tasks.
According to the wage and hour lawsuit, Dollar Tree did not maintain records for when these employees started and ended these work periods or the meal breaks afforded to the workers. Since the employer did not capture the relevant information about hours worked per day, the plaintiffs claim that they all worked in excess of forty hours per week doing the tasks mentioned above but were never fairly compensated for the extra time.
The lawsuit claims that the company had a practice of asking people to be improperly classified as exempt employees so that Dollar Tree did not have to pay them overtime for hours worked beyond forty in a workweek. The wage and hour lawsuit argues that these company policies violated state law and caused the plaintiffs to suffer damages, including lost earnings. The Dollar Tree wage and hour lawsuit also alleges that the company did not itemize wages in the right manner in addition to failing to record the hours worked.
Employers in California have a responsibility to ensure that each employee not exempted under the law is appropriately paid for their work time. For those situations in which systemic practices are used to underpay employees legitimately entitled to overtime, lawsuits may be filed by the affected workers to protect their legal rights.
If you believe that you have been subjected to illegal business practices by your employer, you should consult with the experienced wage and hour attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher today.
Note: Bradley/Grombacher is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.