A federal court recently certified a class action for Assistant Managers at Ocean State Job Lot. That lawsuit was originally brought in 2009 and alleged that Assistant Managers at Ocean State Job Lot were wrongly classified as exempt from overtime pay. Ocean State claims that their primary duty is management (a prerequisite for the “executive” exemption) but the Assistant Managers disagree. They claim that they spend the vast majority of their time performing non-management tasks such as stocking shelves and merchandising.
The plaintiffs filed a motion to certify two classes; one for Assistant Managers in Connecticut and another for Assistant Managers in Massachusetts. The allowed the Connecticut class to proceed but denied the motion as to the Massachusetts Assistant Managers. Anyone who has been an Assistant Manager at Ocean State Job Lot in Massachusetts is no longer covered by this lawsuit and must take steps immediately to protect their rights. Their claims for unpaid overtime wages have begun to expire, now that the court denied the motion to certify the Massachusetts class.
The court also denied Ocean State’s motion to decertify the collective action of 25 Assistant Manager who had opted into the case. They will be allowed to proceed to trial with their claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, in Hartford, Connecticut.
This ruling should help assistant managers at other retailers band together and assert claims for unpaid overtime wages.