The compass group, a North Carolina based food-service management and support company, has been sued in a collective action accusing it of failing to pay overtime wages to its assistant managers. Compass group describes itself on its website as the leading food-service management and support services company in the United States and Canada. Claims to serve 8 million meals a day and employ more than 220,000 people.
Among its employees are assistant managers. Over the years assistant managers at many companies have brought federal class and collective action lawsuits alleging unpaid overtime wages. The dispute usually centers around whether or not their primary duty is management. Under the executive exemption of the fair labor standards act and employer can only deny overtime pay to an assistant manager if their primary duty is management. Usually this means that they must spend more than half their time performing management functions. Many times assistant managers spend the majority of their time doing the same hourly work as their subordinates. While this fact is not controlling in of itself, it tends to support a claim that assistant managers who mostly do physical labor should not be denied overtime pay.
This lawsuit has been filed in the federal court for the District of Connecticut but it claims that there is a collective or group of assistant managers around the country who are similarly situated. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees can join in one collective action lawsuit if they are similarly situated. This usually means that they hold the same job title perform similar duties and are all making the same legal claim such as that they were misclassified as exempt executives.
The plaintiff is represented by the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore of Hartford, Connecticut. There website has an information page about this case which includes downloadable form which can be used to join the case. Under the fair labor standards act similarly situated assistant managers can join lawsuits like this so long as they have held the same job during the previous three years and sign a written consent form which is then filed with the court.