On Monday, we discussed wage claims regarding fast-food workers on our labor blog. With this in mind, restaurants are not the only employers who have been accused of participating in wage and overtime theft.
According to East Bay Express, a class action lawsuit was filed recently in Alameda County against Walmart, accusing the retailer of participating in wage theft by using so-called “assistant store managers” to do the work of lower-level employees.
The employees involved in the lawsuit said that assistant managers at Walmart are often asked to perform the same tasks as hourly employees, such as greeting customers, stocking inventory and operating checkout areas, while working more than eight hours per day without receiving overtime.
The lawsuit claims that the employees are ‘managers’ in name only due to the fact that they completed the same tasks, even though they were considered “exempt” workers through misclassification, making them ineligible for overtime due to the fact that they receive wages in “salary”.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Bonnie Cardoza, who worked at Walmart for close to five years, filed her case on behalf of any employee who worked as an assistant manager with the retailer from January 2011 to January 2015.
This is not the first time Walmart has been accused of wage theft. According to East Bay Express, in 2008, it agreed to pay $640 million to settle state and federal overtime-related class action lawsuits. Additionally, in 2013, Walmart agreed to pay $86 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 232,000 California employees who accused it of wage theft.
Does Your Employer Owe You Back Wages?
If you are not being paid overtime, your employer may be violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You should question company policies that allow for unpaid work if you work more than 40 hours in a week, because in most cases, unless you truly are a manager, you should be receiving time-and-a-half or overtime wages.
If you are not paid for all the hours you have worked, you could potentially file a lawsuit for damages and back pay. Class action lawsuits have become a popular way to do this, as they allow for a small group of employees to sue on behalf of all those who have been affected by negligence.
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys