On June 30, 2015 the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore and our co-counsel, Lichten & Liss-Riordan, filed a Motion in Federal Court in Connecticut asking the court to authorize the sending of notice to Assistant Managers employed by Compass Group’s Eurest Dining Services Division. Eurest owns and operates cafes and cafeterias, often at corporate headquarters and other facilities with large numbers of employees. The lead plaintiff in this case, Carla Rosario, worked at a cafe for employees of Mohegan Sun Casino. Ms. Rosario alleges that these employees spend most of their time doing non-management work- i.e., work that, in any significant quantity- prevents an employer from requiring a employee to work more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay. Instead, she claims that these employees spend most of their time cleaning up, stocking salad bars, preparing food, and other duties more appropriate to hourly workers.
Why do some companies do this? It ends up burning out managers who take a job believing that they will be in charge of an operation but who find that their jobs require hours upon hours of cleaning, cooking, and stocking so that the facility is up to corporate standards. The answer is that it’s free labor for the employer. The employer gets all of the tasks on its corporate checklist done, but without having to pay an hourly associate for that time. Because the Assistant Manager is classified as “exempt,” the work is free and they are not paid anything for the extra time, never mind the time-and-a-half required by law.
The Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore hopes that it will be able to send notice out to all of Eurest’s Assistant Managers so that they can bring this lawsuit together and not have to retain attorneys individually. The law requiring employers to pay overtime allows employees who do the same job to act together in this manner to conserve their own resources and the court’s resources- this is a great case for this treatment.