Did you know that in order to be exempt from overtime pay, you must not spend a significant portion of your work time on nonmanagerial duties? This is an issue that has haunted companies like Chipotle, which was sued over denying overtime to workers participating in its store manager training program. Now, convenience store chain Wawa has found itself in a similar situation, and around 1,550 assistant managers could be involved in the case.
Should Assistant Managers Be Suing Wawa for Overtime Pay?
In December of 2015, Wawa reclassified its assistant general managers as nonexempt from overtime pay. In light of this, many assistant managers felt they were owed overtime pay that they had earned before Wawa reclassified them. In January 2017, six assistant general managers filed a lawsuit against the company to recover the overtime pay they claim they are owed.
In the lawsuit, four named plaintiffs claimed that they regularly worked 50 to 60 hours a week using most of that time to take care of nonmanagerial duties. Considering these claims, a U.S. District Judge ruled that their case is representative of a class, so it was certified for conditional certification of a collective action. This means that some 1,550 assistant general managers may join this class action suit, which could force Wawa to pay its managers significant backpay.
Wawa claimed that the plaintiffs misrepresented their job duties, and that not all assistant managers had such responsibilities. Because of this, the store chain felt that claim should be limited to the 15 stores the six plaintiffs worked at, but this assertion was rejected, opening the class to many other assistant managers at Wawa. Do you think they will get the backpay they believe they deserve? The wage attorneys at Keefe Law Firm will continue to watch how this case unfolds, so keep checking our blog for more updates.