BUFFALO — A group of over 330 current and former assistant managers for OfficeMax Inc. who filed a class action overtime suit against their employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have entered into a settlement agreement with the company worth over $3.5 million. Under the agreement, each member of the class who opted into the lawsuit would receive an amount from the settlement based on the number of weeks he or she worked during the time period covered by the settlement. Attorneys will be seeking up to one-third of the settlement fund, or around $1.6 million.
Misclassification as Exempt
The managers claimed that OfficeMax failed to pay overtime wages from its assistant managers because it believed they were exempt from overtime pay under FLSA. According to the plaintiffs, they worked more than 40 hours in a week and performed non-exempt duties. These duties did not differ significantly from those performed by non-exempt employees such as engaging in customer service, stocking shelves, down-stocking the binder wall, operating the cash register, unloading trucks, selling merchandise, setting up displays, counting inventory, and cleaning the store. OfficeMax did not admit wrongdoing in the agreement and continues to deny all allegations, maintaining that the managers exercised management duties that qualified them for the exemption. The company indicated that the settlement was merely a means to avoid further expenses connected to the litigation.
FLSA requires employers pay employees at least minimum wage and, if they work more than 40 hours a week, overtime pay at time and a half their regular pay. There are, however, certain employees who are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements because of the kinds of duties they perform. Some exemptions are generic and may be applied to a wide range of employees such as the administrative and executive exemptions. These exemptions are for managers, administrative assistants, and those with the authority and responsibilities associated with ongoing maintenance of departments or businesses. To qualify for the exemption, employees must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455.
Class certification may provide a group of similar employees with an adequate means of resolving common claims while eliminating repetitious litigation. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees have a valid claim under FLSA and that your claims are common. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.