A federal jury awarded $2.5 million to a class of 343 employees who accused office supply chain Staples Inc. of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. After a six-week trial, a jury concluded that the plaintiffs met their burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that they worked in excess of 40 hours per week and were not paid overtime. The jury found that Staples had also failed to meet its burden of proving that the plaintiffs were exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The jury found that the plaintiffs had met their burden of proof for establishing that Staples’ failure to pay overtime compensation was willful. Finally, the jury rejected Staples’ argument that the employees and the company had mutually agreed to a fluctuating workweek method of pay.
The class is defined as all people in the United States who were employed by Staples as assistant store sales managers at any time from Feb. 8, 2004, to April 1, 2008, and were not paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 in a given week as required under the FLSA.
Michael A. Galpern of Locks Law Firm in Cherry Hill, N.J.; Jeff Gottlieb of Berger & Associates in New York; Gary E. Mason of The Mason Law Firm in Washington, D.C.; and Seth R. Lesser of Klafter, Olsen & Lesser in Rye Brook, N.Y., represent the plaintiffs. C. Bryan Cantrell, Adam N. Saravay and Lisa M. Hannan of McCarter & English in Newark and Pamela J. Moore of McCarter & English in Hartford, Conn., represent Staples.