Lawsuit: Target Failed To Pay New York Warehouse Workers Overtime

Image courtesy of (Mr. T in DC)

A group of Target warehouse employees in New York filed a class-action seeking lawsuit against the retailer, accusing the company of misclassifying workers with low-level management responsibilities so they wouldn’t receive overtime pay. 

The lawsuit, first filed in New York Supreme Court in December, claims that Target violated state labor laws by misclassifying “operations group leaders” as exempt from overtime, Reuters reports.

According to the original complaint, the Target employee claims he was required to work approximately 48 to 54 hours per week as well as being required to attend a 90-minute meeting once a month and another 90-minute meeting each quarter.

In addition to these duties, the plaintiff claims he would routinely take his work home after hours, emailing updates to supervisors.

“However, [he] never received any overtime pay of time and one-half his regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week,” the suit states.

The man says that because Target misclassified his duties, he is owed approximately eight to 14 hours per week of overtime for the duration of his employment, which was from 2011 to 2015.

The man’s lawyer tells Reuters that the retailer “controls very carefully what the group leaders do such that they are not left with meaningful executive authority that would satisfy exemption under the law.”

The suit seeks to represent all current and former Operations Group Leaders who worked at the company’s New York warehouse.

According to a notice for removal [PDF] filed by Target — to move the case from the New York Supreme Court to federal court — the retailer estimates that the class would cover 209 individuals.

While Target denies the lawsuit’s allegations in its reply [PDF] to the original suit, the company did “quantify the amount of overtime damage” being sought by the plaintiff and proposed class as more than $5 million.

A spokesperson for Target tells Reuters that the company’s distribution center group leaders are properly classified as exempt, salaried team members and said these department leaders hire, manage and lead teams of up to 50 people.

“They are competitively compensated and rewarded for their performance. We dispute the allegations in the suit,” she said.

Target workers in New York sue over not being paid overtime [Reuters]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.