Retail Employee Overtime and Break Laws

colorado mountainsManagerial misclassifications and other wage violations are rampant in the retail industry. Over the past five years, dozens of retail chain stores, restaurants, fast food outlets, and video stores have paid tens of millions of dollars to settle class action overtime claims because managers, assistant managers and/or management trainees were misclassified as overtime exempt. The top wage violations in the retail industry are:

  • Failing to pay workers overtime for all hours worked in excess of 12 per day or 40 per week. Even salaried workers usually are entitled to this overtime pay. Often, retail workers are classified as “managers” and told they are exempt from overtime pay when, in reality, most managers do not meet the stringent test for exemption.
  • “Shaving” or under-reporting worked hours to avoid paying for those hours. Often this takes the form of automatic deductions for rest/meal breaks that never were taken or that were less than thirty minutes of uninterrupted time.
  • Not paying workers for certain tasks performed before, during or after their regular shift such as waiting time, employee meetings, training programs and paperwork. Often employers illegally claim that this work is “off the clock”.
  • Making workers pay for merchandising shortages, their uniform and/or other equipment.
  • Using illegal commission payment compensation plans to avoid overtime pay. To be exempt from overtime, the commissioned employee’s average hourly pay must exceed one and one-half times the minimum wage and the employee must receive at least one-half of his or her compensation from commissions.
  • Failing to provide meal and rest breaks.

If your employer is violating the retail overtime pay laws, you (and other employees) may be entitled to thousands of dollars of back pay. Please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation or simply to learn more about retail workers and the overtime pay laws.