BY: Jason J. Thompson | IN: Employment Law
Assistant store managers employed by Jimmy John’s LLC believe they are due overtime wages after having been improperly classified as “executives,” and have filed a potential class action in a Florida federal court to recover the compensation they claim they are now owed.
According to reports on Law360 (subscription required), assistant store managers at the company, which operates over 2,000 restaurants in 44 states and the District of Columbia, primarily make sandwiches. Three former assistant store managers brought the lawsuit alleging that Jimmy John’s willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by misclassifying them as exempt employees who would not be otherwise be entitled to overtime protections. The salaried managers claim they work an average of 50 hours per week and that their duties are substantially similar to those of hourly employees.
The plaintiffs maintain that the company was aware or recklessly disregarded the misclassification to avoid having to compensate them for the extra time. They cite the fact that Jimmy John’s did perform an analysis of the assistant store managers’ duties and was aware of the manual nature of their wok.
Even though the restaurant operates through franchises, Jimmy John’s controlled all aspects of its restaurants including layout, design, discipline, hiring, and termination of employees. The plaintiffs allege that though they were classified as managers their job entailed working the sandwich line, filling orders, working the cash register, and cleaning and stocking the restaurant.
The named plaintiffs were employed by Jimmy John’s restaurants in Florida, Alabama, and Illinois, and seek to certify a class including other assistant store managers from across the country.
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Jason Thompson is a nationally board certified trial attorney and co-chairs Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Department. He has a formidable breadth of litigation experience, including class action and multidistrict litigation (MDL), and practices nationwide in both state and federal courts.