On November 2, 2022, Sommers Schwartz, P.C., attorneys Kevin Stoops, Jason Thompson, and Jesse Young secured a total of $9,950,000 for 2,574 hourly managers employed by big-box home improvement giant Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC (Lowe’s). The managers alleged the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay them regular wages and overtime compensation for work performed before and after their shifts.
The managers worked among 1,700 Lowe’s retail locations across the United States. The lawsuit was first filed in April 2019 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina and later included 19 more class actions filed in other federal courts across the country. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ultimately consolidated the cases in the Western District of North Carolina. Another 184 hourly managers pursued their claims in individual arbitration proceedings nationwide.
The managers alleged that Lowe’s withheld compensation for unpaid “off-the-clock” work in connection with opening and closing stores and performing exterior perimeter sweeps. The employees claimed these pre- and post-shift tasks constituted compensable work above 40 hours per week, for which they should have been paid time-and-a-half under the Fair Labor Standards Act and various state wage and hour laws.
The litigation required extensive discovery, including hundreds of sets of written interrogatories, more than 200 depositions, multiple mediations, and 11 arbitration hearings. Besides the large monetary settlement, Lowe’s agreed to make changes to its timekeeping system and compensation policies, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional compensation to hourly managers throughout the U.S. since September 2020.
The total recovery of $9,950,000 consists of approximately $7,450,000 from the multidistrict litigation settlement and approximately $2,500,000 in arbitration awards.
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