Assistant store managers have settled an overtime suit against Rite-Aid for $20.9 million. The assistant store managers and co-managers claimed that the company had wrongly classified them as exempt when they, in fact, did not have or exercise actual managerial or supervisory authority. The settlement is subject to federal court approval and will affect employees in about 31 states.
Source: Scranton Times-Tribune
The misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime is one of the most common violations of both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Kentucky state overtime pay laws. For the manager or supervisor exemption to apply the employee must have and exercise true management authority and discretion.
The Rite-Aid suit is similar to a number of other misclassification overtime suits involving retail store managers that have been discussed previously: Shift Supervisors File Class Action Suit for Unpaid Overtime; AT&T Managers' Class Action for Unpaid Overtime Moves Forward; Store Managers at Harbor Freight Sue for Unpaid Overtime; and Store Managers at Radio Shack Sue for Unpaid Overtime.
This case and the ones mentioned in the articles illustrate two key points: (1) an employee's job title does not determine whether or not they have to be paid overtime; and, (2) it is the true, actual duties of an employee that determine whether or not they must be paid overtime. Here, the Rite-Aid assistant managers did not do enough (or any) managerial work to separate themselves from the hourly employees they were supposed to be supervising or managing.
Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees seeking to recover the overtime and wages they've earned but not been paid.