RadioShack Owes Back Overtime Pay, US District Court Rules
CHICAGO, IL -- September 23, 2005 -- Store managers were entitled to back pay for working overtime without compensation, a US District Court ruled (Fort Worth Star Telegram, September 20, 2005). Over 3,200 RadioShack employees took part in the class action lawsuit. Some members of the class will be entitled to immediate payment. The situation of other class members will be considered at a trial in February of next year.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay their workers time and a half for every hour they work beyond 40 hours per week. However, those in administrative, professional and executive jobs are exempt from the requirement and need not receive overtime pay. Managers are covered under the executive exemption and are not entitled to overtime.
RadioShack tried to manipulate the law by calling some employees "managers," even though they did not perform the work of managers. A worker must supervise two or more full time employees at least 80 percent of the time to be considered a manager, according to the District Court. Instead, the RadioShack employees spent most of their time at non-managerial duties such as sales, pricing and store maintenance, according to the plaintiffs' attorneys. Therefore, they were entitled to overtime pay.
Wal-Mart Accused of Denying Meal Break and Overtime Pay to Employees
The issue of overtime pay continues to be a hot topic. Last week, a trial began in a California Superior Court concerning the labor practices of Wal-Mart. Employees at 186 Wal-Mart stores charge that the retail giant deprived them of meal breaks and forced them to work unpaid overtime hours (Contra Costa Times, September 20, 2005; Bloomberg News, September 20, 2005). They also claim that some managers altered employee time sheets.
An Oregon jury awarded overtime pay to Wal-Mart workers in that state last year. The employees had charged that they had to work "off-the-clock" and through meal breaks.
Unfair Employment Practices
Brayton Purcell is concerned about unfair business practices such as unpaid overtime, failure to provide legal work breaks, and employment discrimination. We have been fighting on behalf of employees for over 20 years. If you have been treated unfairly by your employer, please feel free to contact us for more information.