Automotive parts and accessories retailer AutoZone reached a settlement in a wage-and-hour class action involving store managers nationwide, just days before the case was set to go to trial.  The settlement, details of which have not been revealed, brings to a close allegations that the company unlawfully withheld overtime pay from the managers.

According to a report on Law360 (subscription required), the lawsuit, originally filed in July 2010, claimed that AutoZone improperly classified store managers as exempt employees in an effort to thwart wage and hour provisions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Judge Martone of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona rejected AutoZone’s recent motion to decertify the collective action. AutoZone argued that the parties had no idea how to manage the case as a collective action, and that the plaintiffs’ trial plan failed to guarantee AutoZone’s due process rights.

The class of plaintiff could have included a potential 1,475 store managers in AutoZone locations across the country, except California, where such employees are properly classified as non-exempt and have been paid overtime for work in excess of 40 hours per week.

If you or someone you know suspects that an employer is misclassifying employees to avoid paying overtime or other compensation, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group today – the law gives you only a short time to act.