The American restaurant chain is hit by a national class action. The Hooters unpaid overtime class action lawsuit alleges that the restaurant has been misclassifying its store managers as supervisors. This they allegedly did in order to pay their employees less. Accordingly, this could be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Three of the restaurant’s assistant managers Jacki Stirewalt, Jaqui Shae Brown and Amber Cox filed the action in Alabama. They all allege that they have worked up to 80 hours weekly. However, allegedly they could not claim for overtime pay because they were classified as manager. And managers cannot receive overtime pay.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim that their position was not a real one. The word “manager” was only a title, they say. In addition, plaintiffs claim that they were deprived of many responsibilities that salaried managers usually have. For example, they claim that their main duty was sales, not managing other workers who they had the right to hire or fire. Also, according to the complaint, when they made schedules, those schedules would most often be changed. And though they interviewed new job applicants, their supervisors would not take into account their recommendations.
More importantly, while these employees were responsible for merchandise, they could not change pricing or control the way goods were displayed. According to the complaint, Hooters was deliberately hiding the status of its assistant managers from both the government and its employees. And this was not for a year or two; this has lasted for a decade.
The complaint states that present and former Hooters employees trusted the information the company provided them with. This kind of misrepresentation did not allow employees determine their true status under the FLSA. In addition to this all, the suit claims that the plaintiffs never got reimbursement for their travel costs. Also, from time to time they even had to do some janitorial or kitchen work without receiving any additional pay.
The Hooters unpaid overtime class action is now seeking to represent present and former assistant managers who worked in the company during the last three years. The plaintiffs are seeking the following:
- Sales incentives
- Uncompensated overtime pay
- Vacation and sick time
What about legal help?
Do you think that your employee rights also have been violated in some way? If yes, you need to contact an employment lawyer for legal help. Do not let an employer underpay or fire you illegally. Use adequate ways to protect your employee rights. Most lawyers provide a free case evaluation. For example, if you are in the state of California, you can contact the Margarian Law Firm for legal help. They offer a free first consultation for all kinds of cases.