Sometimes employers use unethical practices to gain advantages or save money in their business operations. One tactic that employees are fighting back against is the practice of assigning inappropriate job titles to their employees to avoid paying overtime wages for any hours worked over 40 per calendar week. By labeling an employee as a manager, the employer believes they can benefit from having the employee work over 40 hours per week without being responsible for overtime pay and other financial obligations. Employee misclassification is illegal under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and certain state laws.
A recent wage and hour lawsuit alleging this practice has been filed against Les Schwab Tires Centers, Inc. on behalf of a class of workers in Washington State. The lawsuit states that Les Schwab’s assistant managers regularly worked up to 72-hour weeks performing non-managerial duties without receiving overtime compensation. The employees that were classified as “assistant managers” by Les Schwab claim their jobs involved tasks like changing light bulbs or cleaning the backroom, and only a very small percentage of their duties were managerial in nature. The employees often performed non-managerial tasks alongside hourly employees. These employees also lacked the authority and discretion of an actual manager position.
This complaint is very similar to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Oregon that claimed Les Schwab intentionally misclassified over 200 employees and failed to pay them for working overtime. The jury decided in favor of the employees and ruled that Les Schwab was responsible for compensating at a time-and-a-half rate for hours worked beyond 40 hours. Another suit filed in California in 2007 is currently awaiting settlement approval. If the recent Washington employment lawsuit can prove Les Schwab did not properly pay its employees, there may be a sizable payout to be split among the parties.
Philadelphia Labor Law Firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates Protects Rights of Unpaid or Undercompensated Employees
Companies should not get away with the illegal treatment of employees simply because an employee’s individual claim appears small. The impact of being misclassified is very serious and greatly impacts a worker’s finances and benefits. An experienced employment law attorney can provide assistance in formulating a sound strategy to maximize a worker’s or class of workers’ potential recovery.
The Philadelphia labor lawyers of Sidney L. Gold & Associates understand the complexities of wage and hour disputes and will assess your case to see if you have been misclassified as exempt or non-exempt by your employer. If you believe you have been undercompensated by your employer, call the Philadelphia law offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. We represent clients in overtime claim cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.