Home Depot, popular construction and home improvement products retailer, is now the target of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime class action lawsuit after the company allegedly avoided paying its delivery drivers due overtime when they exceeded 40 hours.
From July 2010 through November 2014, Angel Rivera, former Home Depot employee and class action plaintiff, worked at a Home Depot store in New Jersey as a nonexempt hourly employee and “regularly worked/work in excess of 40 hours per week” with other drivers, the lawsuit alleges. However, “instead of paying named plaintiff and plaintiffs one and one half times his or her regular rate for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek, defendant forced named plaintiff and plaintiffs to accept compensatory time off the week following any workweek in which [they] worked overtime,” the complaint states.
“For instance, if named plaintiff or plaintiffs had worked 42 hours … then the following week … [they] would be allowed to work two fewer hours and receive straight time compensation for them to ‘make up’ for the two hours over 40,” the suit claims.
The FLSA, first established in 1938, was responsible for establishing a national minimum wage, guaranteed time-and-a-half for overtime in certain jobs, ensured proper break times and set other important labor laws Americans recognize today. The plaintiffs in the Home Depot overtime class action claim that the company was in violation of the federal wage and hour laws by refusing their labor rights to overtime pay.
According to the suit filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of New Jersey, Home Depot’s “conduct in failing to pay [drivers] properly was and is willful and was not based upon any reasonable interpretation of the law.”
Although Rivera cannot identify the exact number of potential members for the overtime class action, the class is now in the process of seeking certification. Current and former Home Depot delivery drivers, as well employees “in similar positions with similar duties,” who received compensatory time instead of overtime pay at some point during the three years prior to the complaint’s filing are eligible to join the class action.
Home Depot declined to comment on the pending FLSA litigation, asserting that it has yet to review the complaint in its entirety. The company has also been dealing with the legal aftermath of a 2014 data breach, responsible for leaking millions of its customers’ personal and financial records.