Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. agreed to settle two class action suits claiming that it misclassified assistant store managers as exempt employees and wrongfully withheld overtime wages in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to Law360 (subscription required), the first action involved assistant store managers who were employed after January 22, 2011. The other lawsuit included a separate group of assistant store managers employed by Kohl’s in New York between January 22, 2011 and September 9, 2015. The actions were settled for approximately $4 million dollars and each plaintiff will receive about $5,300.
Although the managers were classified as supervisory and exempt employees, the plaintiffs alleged that the majority of their time was spent cleaning the stores, stocking shelves, and performing other non-exempt jobs. All non-exempt employees are entitled to at least the federal minimum wage per hour plus time and a half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Certain “white collar” workers are exempt under the FLSA, however, they must be working in a legitimate executive, administrative, professional, or outside sales position.
Many employers classify their employees as exempt from overtime wages, but their designation may not always be correct and these employees may still be entitled to overtime wages. If you have questions about your wages or employment status, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group.