Texas Wage Theft Suit

Target Anti-theft Employee Files Texas Wage Theft Suit

Recently, a former employee of Target Corporation, who once worked in the company’s anti-theft division, filed a collective action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in which he claimed the company violated the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act when they required him to work more than 40 hours per week, but refused to pay him overtime.

The employee, Bobby Rouse, once worked for Target as an “executive team leader” in asset protection. According to his complaint, he performed the same tasks as their non-exempt employees, but classified his position as exempt, thus denying him the benefit of overtime pay.

The complaint asserts that Rouse was paid a salary, but that he shouldn’t have been exempt from overtime because the job was not administrative in nature. His duties largely consisted of the same standard store surveillance duties as non-salaried employees, such as walking the store and monitoring security cameras. He didn’t perform office work, didn’t exercise independent judgment on significant matters, and he had no power to hire or fire employees.

In addition, the complaint also accuses Target of failing to keep accurate time records for Rouse during the three years he worked for them. In part, this was because, during the time he worked there, salaried employees were not allowed to use the company’s electronic timekeeping system.

This case could soon be certified as a collective action that could affect as many as 1,800 Target employees, assuming there is one executive team leader in asset protection in each store who was classified as exempt during the past three years. The complaint asks that Target stop classifying such employees as exempt, and seeks damages, including back overtime wages.

This is not the first time Target has faced a FLSA lawsuit on the same grounds. Back in April 2011, a federal judge in Illinois threw out a proposed class action in which an asset protection employee claimed that she and other investigators had been classified as exempt and were not paid overtime.

In that case, U.S. District Judge John F. Grady granted Target Corporation’s request for summary judgment, based on his determination that, because she selected cases to pursue and planned fraud investigations, the FLSA’s administrative exemption for employees who exercise independent judgment applied in her case.

Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and they are entitled to overtime pay of 1.5 times their hourly rate for every hour they work beyond 40 in a workweek. The FLSA also requires that all employers maintain full and accurate records of employees’ hours, wages and conditions of employment.

If you are a Texas worker who works more than 40 hours a week, and you believe you are being unfairly denied overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week, please contact the Texas Overtime Wage Theft Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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