The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. For most people, that means working eight hours a day, five days a week, but employees in some industries have odd shifts and their employers need to take this into account when calculating overtime.
In industries that need to be open during weekends, such as retail and healthcare, employees often take turns working weekends, leaving them with odd weeks. It is the employers’ responsibility to accurately calculate how much time employees spend working in a given week and compensate them accordingly.
According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy, the employer allegedly failed to properly define its workweek. The lawsuit alleges this resulted in employees getting paid straight time for their sixth consecutive day of work, when they should have been paid the premium overtime compensation of one and one half times their normal hourly rate for the whole day.
The class action lawsuit, which was filed in California, alleges violations of California labor law, in addition to the alleged FLSA violations. Under California law, employers are required to provide all their workers with accurate, itemized wage statements in a timely manner. The statements need to specify the pay period, the employee’s hourly wage, how many hours the employee worked in the pay period, total wages earned, and all deductions made from the employee’s pay, such as taxes, Social Security, and health insurance.
In the event of a termination of a worker’s employment, California law requires employers to pay the worker’s wages in full within 72 hours of termination of employment. If the worker provides at least 72 hours’ notice prior to termination, then all wages are due upon termination. The wage and hour lawsuit alleges CVS failed to pay all employees their full wages in a timely manner.
The class action lawsuit further alleges CVS participated in illegal business practices under California law in order to gain an unfair advantage in the market.
CVS continues to deny all the allegations, but it has agreed to settle the lawsuit for $7.46 million in order to avoid the hassle and expense of further pursuing the dispute in court. Large legal disputes have the potential to drag on in the courts for years, and combining three class actions into a single lawsuit makes for a very large dispute.
Even if CVS is innocent of all the allegations, pursuing the matter in court could lead to large attorneys’ fees and costs. Combined with the uncertainty of a jury’s ruling, it makes sense for CVS to pay up now and avoid the potential of facing a larger bill.
The class action lawsuit is actually a combination of three class action lawsuits that were all filed against CVS in California and were later combined to form one large class action. The current class includes all employees of CVS who worked as non-exempt pharmacists in the state of California and worked more than six consecutive days without overtime compensation any time between October 2, 2009 and April 30, 2015.
Our Cicero Berwyn and Melrose Park wage and hour attorneys and unpaid overtime lawyers and attorneys are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
Nationwide Consumer Rights is based in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace. We represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at 630-333-0333 or through our online form.