A Price Chopper employee filed a class-action lawsuit on Wednesday against the retailer alleging she and other staff members had not been fairly compensated for overtime work.
The suit, filed in Massachusetts federal court by employee Shelly J. Davine, claims that Davine and other managers, or “team leaders,” were unlawfully classified as exempt employees in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Massachusetts Wage Act. Davine worked as a team leader or manager at Price Chopper’s Massachusetts stores in North Adams, Lenox and Lee.
The lawsuit contends that the managers performed the same duties as overtime eligible employees, but were made to work more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay for the additional hours.
A main factor for whether an employee is lawfully exempt from overtime pay is whether the person has a supervisory role, said Gary Preston, founder of talent acquisition firm Preston and Partners, who isn't involved in this case and couldn’t speak to its specifics.
“If they are overseeing, managing, directing the work of others and so forth, then there’s a really good argument that they are exempt from the conditions of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Preston said.
“They [Price Chopper] have a great reputation in the marketplace, so I would be a little surprised if they willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. I mean sure they have outside counsel, so given the size of the liability, it’s not something that would have been treated lightly,” Preston added.
Price Chopper did not respond to SN’s request for comment by the time of publication.
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