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Court Grants Conditional Certification For Overtime Case In Behalf Of Assistant Store Managers Of Burlington Coat Factory

Recently, a United States federal district court granted employees’ request for conditional certification in an overtime case filed by assistant store managers (“ASM”). The ASM filed an overtime collective action alleging that Burlington Coat Factory failed to pay them overtime wages for the hours they worked over 40 in a workweek. The ASM asserted that their employer misclassified these salaried employees as exempt from overtime but, in fact, the ASM were nonexempt and entitled to overtime. The employees sought permission to send notice about the lawsuit to all other similarly situated employees so that they could join.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to pay its employees overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. There are some exemptions to the FLSA overtime rules, including an exemption for executives. However, although the ASM in the Burlington case were called “managers,” they argued that they were entitled overtime because their job requires little skill and their duties and responsibilities do not include any real managerial responsibilities or the exercise of independent judgment. The managers also argued that they did not have authority to hire or fire other employee and that they spent the majority of their time performing work typical of the other employees like working on the sales floor, opening boxes, ticketing merchandise, stocking shelves, cashiering, unloading trucks, and cleaning the bathrooms.

The federal district court hearing the case agreed with the ASM to conditional certify the overtime case as a collective action pursuant to the United States Supreme Court case Hoffman v. La Roche as well as the legislative purpose of Section 216 of the FLSA. This means that the employees will be permitted to send notice of the lawsuit to other managers about their rights to join the lawsuit and seek their overtime pay.

If you are paid a salary, you still might be entitled to overtime. To find out, contact Atlanta overtime lawyers.