Zale Delaware Inc., the jewelry giant known as Zales, is facing a potential class action that could include nearly 20,000 employees who worked for the store within the last three years. According to reports from Law360 (subscription required), a newly filed lawsuit in California federal court alleges that the company underpaid its employees due to errors in a time-keeping system, which systematically shaves time off of employee timecards. The complaint claims that Zales violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and California labor laws and seeks to certify the case as a class action because company policies uniformly apply to all of its non-exempt employees who are entitled to back pay and overtime.
The lead plaintiff, Naomi Tapia, was hired as a jewelry consultant at a California Zales store in 2012 and was fired later that year. She alleges that her time card was altered by rounding down or shaving off actual time worked, that she did not receive overtime pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week, and that she was routinely reported as taking a 30-minute lunch break even if she did not take the entire break – violations she argues were due to a faulty payroll system that does not show actual hours and minutes worked.
All non-exempt employees are due proper wage and overtime compensation for actual hours worked according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’ Employment Litigation Group have handled hundreds of wage and hour disputes, and are ready to speak with you about any suspicions you have about unfair and unlawful withholdings – contact us today.