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New York City Employment Attorneys Help Retail Store Managers and Assistant Managers Receive the Overtime Pay They Deserve

Dedicated to eliminating wage theft          

Managers and assistant managers of retail stores are accustomed to working long hours. Many retailers know this and compensate managers accordingly. They understand the importance of training and promoting lower-level employees into management positions in order to better preserve an effective company culture and environment, which can be difficult to maintain by hiring managers from other companies. However, other less scrupulous companies have learned to exploit overtime laws by promoting clerks or floor associates to management positions, with few actual managerial duties, strictly as an opportunity to save money on labor.

If you are a retail manager or assistant store manager who has become frustrated by the fact that you are working well over forty-hours a week, yet receiving no overtime pay, you may have legal recourse against your employer. The knowledgeable New York employment attorneys at Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth PLLC provide the aggressive legal advocacy you need when facing a wage theft matter.

How do companies take advantage of employees by “promoting” them?

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employees are entitled to an hourly wage one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for all time worked over forty hours in the same work week. There are, however, certain types of jobs which are exempt from this overtime requirement. Retail managers and assistant managers do not qualify for overtime if they are paid on a salary basis at least $455 per week, and their primary duties are, in fact, managerial, administrative, or supervisory in nature.

It is easy to see how this benefits employers. $455 per week works out to $11.38 per hour—$2.63 above the current New York minimum wage of $8.75 per hour. However, in a 52-hour workweek—that’s over six eight-hour days—a manager is essentially back to making minimum wage, while minimum wage workers, working the same hours—and often performing similar job duties—are grossing $507.50.

Employers are entitled to invoke this exception when a manager’s duties include the following:

·        A primary duty of managing the enterprise of a recognized department or subsection

·        Directing the work of at least two or more employees

·        The “authority to hire and fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees are given particular weight.”

Many workers, particularly those in assistant manager positions, are questioning whether their job duties really are any different than those of the clerks that they supervise.

What happens to companies that wrongfully try to use the executive exemption to avoid overtime pay?

In a 2006 trial, a jury awarded nearly $36 million in damages to a group of store managers with the Family Dollar chain that successfully argued they had been wrongfully denied overtime after being required to work sixty to ninety hours a week while receiving no overtime. During litigation, evidence surfaced showing Family Dollar store managers:

·        Lacked the authority to hire, fire, promote, discipline, award raises or even change the schedules of hourly employees.

·        Spent 80 to 90% of their time performing manual labor tasks, including running the cash register and cleaning the bathrooms

·        Lacked discretion over merchandise, promotions, pricing, all of which were set at corporate and district levels

·        Assigned management tasks were strictly prescribed by a store manual, which also included procedures for properly emptying the trash and mopping the floor. The same manual also proscribed the proper organization of cabinets, and mandated that only a District Manger could approve use of a coffee pot in the employee break area.

·        Incredibly, 90% [of store managers] lacked the power to close the store in an emergency without the district manager’s permission.

Based on all of this, and more, Family Dollar was forced to pay nearly $36 million in damages to its store managers in 2008.

If you believe your employer is wrongfully denying you overtime as a retail manager or assistant manager, we want to hear from you

At the Manhattan law offices of Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, PLLC, our knowledgeable New York employment law attorneys have been closely following similar class action lawsuits against other retailers such as Kohl’s, Rite Aid, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Marshall’s. If you believe your employer has denied you rightful overtime wages by making you a manager in title only, contact one of our experienced New York employment law attorneys today for a free, confidential initial consultation at 212-545-1199, or contact us online. Our office is in Manhattan, and we have over seventy years of combined experience aggressively pursuing unpaid wages and damages from employers large and small.





Contact an employment law attorney in New York today for a free initial consultation and determine whether you have a case. For a free initial consultation, you can contact us online or by phone.

CALL US TODAY! 212-545-1199