Because spring has finally arrived, hardware stores across the Milwaukee metro area are busy with shoppers buying flower and vegetable seeds, gardening tools, hoses and much more. The Lowe's Home Improvement stores in the area and across Wisconsin are no exception to this annual spring fever tradition.
Not all of the Lowe's employees working to keep customers satisfied are being paid for their efforts, however. That is according to a class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit recently filed against the nation's second largest hardware chain.
The lawsuit alleges that the hardware retail giant fails to compensate some store managers for the hours they put in and the work they do. The plaintiffs say in their complaint that Lowe's requires its store managers to be hourly employees.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, hourly non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week must be paid overtime for that extra time. The Lowe's suit says some store managers must work during times they're not clocked in, including before and after their shifts, as well during meals breaks.
The lawsuit also states that Lowe's requires managers to read and respond to work email when they're not clocked in, but does not pay them for that extra time. Some managers are also required to do pre-shift and post-shift "sweeps" of store property (arming and disarming alarms, for instance) performed when they're not on the clock.
According to the lawsuit, "plaintiffs and hourly managers spend significant time performing this off-the-clock work, but defendants do not compensate them for it. Because much of this time qualifies as overtime within the meaning of applicable federal and state laws, plaintiffs and hourly managers are owed overtime pay for this uncompensated, off-the-clock work."
If your employer is not paying you and other workers required overtime or minimum wage or has misclassified you as an exempt employee, contact the Milwaukee employment law firm of Alan C. Olson and Associates.