Lower rung managers who are often treated by employers as laborers are fighting for overtime pay, according to a recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The latest example is a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed against Kohl’s Corp. in which assistant store managers claim they are improperly denied overtime wages though most of their work is manual labor, including the unloading freight and stocking shelves.
Federal law requires employers to pay most workers time and a half for work beyond 40 hours in a week.
According to federal court records and a report by a New York law firm, there has been nearly $150 million paid out in the past five years in more than two dozen settlements by employers who misclassified low-level managers and denied them overtime pay.
The misclassification cases are typically class actions filed in federal courts under the Fair Labor Standards Act with retailers as the most frequent culprit. Three examples of substantial settlements in favor of the low-level managers: drug store chain Duane Reade paid out $13.5 million, Dick’s Sporting Goods settled for $10 million and Petco Animal Supplies paid $8 million.
The recent legal claim filed against Kohl’s is similar to a 2016 lawsuit the retailer settled for $4 million, the Journal Sentinel reported. The newspaper noted that as is almost always the case in settlements, the retailer denied wrongdoing and claimed it settled to avoid further litigation.
If you have been improperly denied overtime pay, speak with an employment law attorney experienced in making employers comply with Wisconsin and federal wage and hour laws.