Posted on May 10, 2013 in Employment Law
Employers seeking to avoid paying overtime benefits and wages frequently misclassify their employees as “exempt.” When this misclassification affects a large group of employees who hold the same position within a company, the employees may sue their employer through a class action lawsuit in order to obtain overtime pay and benefits to which they are entitled.
Recently in Connecticut, a class action lawsuit brought by Kelley/Uustal against Ocean State Job Lot was certified by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit, the Ocean State Job Lot’s Assistant Store Managers (ASMs), claim that their employer has misclassified them as exempt from overtime pay despite the fact that the majority of their job responsibilities are non-manegerial in nature.
Ocean State Job Lot Class Action Lawsuit
Ocean State Job Lot is a discount overstock chain based in Rhode Island with stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. While plaintiffs in Connecticut were granted approval to continue with their class action lawsuit against Ocean State Job Lot, a similar motion filed by Assistant Store Managers in Massachusetts against Ocean State was denied by the court because insufficient evidence was provided by the plaintiffs. While a class action lawsuit is not an option for Assistant Store Managers in Massachusetts, victims may recoup unpaid overtime wages through other legal avenues, including individual lawsuits against Ocean State. However, due to the unique nature of workers’ rights lawsuits, it is important to seek experienced and competent legal counsel before proceeding.
Employees’ Status and Rights to Overtime Pay
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Connecticut state labor laws require employers to pay one and one-half times an employee’s regular pay rate for any hours worked over 40 hours within a single workweek. Employees who are classified as exempt, however, are not entitled to overtime pay. Exempt status generally includes employees in management, administrative, professional, and outside sales positions. Problems result when employers misclassify employees under one of these exempt titles when employees do not actually perform exempt duties. Ocean State Job Lot contends that their Assistant Store Managers spend most of their time performing managerial duties, yet plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit state that the majority of their time is spent performing non-exempt tasks, including unloading freight and stocking shelves.
Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of Victimized Employees
At Kelley/Uustal, our goal is to help employees recover their rightfully earned wages and to prevent employers from future misclassification of their employees. Our skilled legal team includes Jordan Lewis, who is co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case against Ocean State Job Lot. He has effectively represented numerous victims in class action lawsuits around the country and has experience handling other workers’ rights and employee discrimination cases. Whether or not you work for Ocean State Job Lot, if your employer has misclassified you as exempt or you have suffered other workers’ rights violations, contact our firm today.
If you feel you qualify to participate in this class action lawsuit or you would like to pursue an individual lawsuit against Ocean State Job Lot for misclassification of employee status, please contact the overtime class action attorneys at Kelley/Uustal. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of wage earners who have been victimized by their employers ( Read some of the results of our cases here). We will provide a free case evaluation to determine whether you are eligible to initiate or join an existing class action lawsuit against your employer. Call us today at 1-888-522-6601 to schedule a free initial consultation.