A federal class action lawsuit filed today accuses Price Chopper Supermarkets of misclassifying workers to avoid paying overtime compensation in violation of federal and state wage laws, the law firms Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook LLP and Outten & Golden LLP reported.
Filed in Massachusetts federal court, the lawsuit alleges that Price Chopper reduces its labor costs by unlawfully classifying its department “team leaders” – also known as department “managers” – as exempt from overtime protections, requiring them to work more than 40 hours a week without paying them the overtime premium pay that the law requires.
According to the complaint, named plaintiff Shelly J. Davine, and the class of co-workers she seeks to represent, worked alongside overtime-eligible employees, performing the same work but without overtime. Ms. Davine was employed as a department team leader and a department manager in three Price Chopper stores in North Adams, Lenox and Lee, Mass. from 1983 through June 2014. She regularly worked more than 45 hours a week, and often 50 hours a week, without being paid proper overtime compensation for every hour she worked over 40, the lawsuit alleges.
Kevin M. Kinne, of Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook LLP, said, “Price Chopper’s team leaders and department heads are hard-working people who deserve to recover unpaid wages for the long hours of overtime they have worked. We also want to make sure that, going forward, they are properly classified and compensated in compliance with federal and state wage laws.”
Rachel Bien, of Outten & Golden LLP, said, “We intend to ask the Court to authorize notice of the lawsuit to all team leaders and department managers so that they will have a chance to participate in the lawsuit and attempt to vindicate their rights to be properly compensated.”
The defendants are the Golub Corporation, The Price Chopper, Inc., Price Chopper Operating Co. of Massachusetts, Inc., Neil M. Golub, Jerel Golub, John J. Enders, Jr., Christine C. Daniels, and Jerel T. Golub. According to the complaint, they own or operate 135 supermarkets, employing thousands of workers in the northeastern United States, including 16 stores in Massachusetts. The Schenectady, N.Y.-based company also owns or operates stores in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
The case is “Shelly J. Davine, et al., v. The Golub Corporation, et al,” Civil Action No. 14-cv-30136 in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts.
Attorney Contacts: Kevin M. Kinne and Benjamin K. Steffans, Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook LLP, 413.443.9399, www.cohenkinne.com, and Rachel Bien and Katrina Eiland, Outten & Golden LLP, 212.245.1000, www.outtengolden.com.