Northern District of Illinois Denies Class Certification in an Action to Recover Unpaid Overtime Under FLSA

There are many employees out there who should be getting paid overtime wages, but because they have been misclassified by their employers, those people are being paid on a salary basis instead. We at Lubin Austermuehle know that these things happen, which is why we fight for the rights of employees who have been paid incorrectly. Our Evanston overtime class action attorneys recently discovered one such case regarding the misclassification of employees and wanted to share it with our readers.

In Gromek v. Big Lots, the named Plaintiff worked for Defendant as an assistant store manager, and was never paid for any of the time he worked in excess of forty hours per week. Plaintiff regularly worked over forty hours, and spent most of his time performing non-managerial and non-exempt duties for Defendant, but was paid a salary and never received overtime wages. As such, Plaintiff filed suit to recover his unpaid overtime pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and sought conditional class certification of the action under FLSA §216(b) to include all of his fellow assistant store managers who worked for Defendant.

The Court sought to determine whether Plaintiffs were similarly situated enough to meet the requirements of §216. Plaintiffs provided declarations from fifteen potential class members stating that they had all been misclassified and underpaid due to Defendant’s common policy, which weighed in favor of granting class certification. However, a previous and similar class-action filed by another group of Defendant’s assistant store managers was decertified because many of those Plaintiffs had significantly different job duties, which made the claims unsuitable for resolution by class-action. Due to this earlier case, the Court denied the class certification motion because Plaintiffs had failed to show why their case differed from the prior action, though the Court stated it would be willing to hear any such arguments the Plaintiffs could provide.

Lubin Austermuehle has wage claim attorneys who focus on nationwide class-action lawsuits and who have handled many overtime cases over the years. Our Chicago overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during class-action wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. When employees do not receive the wages that they have earned, a lawsuit is an efficient and expedient way to recover those unpaid amounts. Lubin Austermuehle is based in Chicago, but we represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they have worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Elgin wage and hour attorneys by phone at 1 630-333-0333, or through our online form.

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