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Employee rights: Laborer classified as manager seeks overtime

The United States Department of Labor allows companies to appoint some employees in positions that are classified as overtime-exempt. This often includes commissioned salespeople and people in managerial positions. An employee of Urban Outfitters, a clothing company with branches nationwide, including in California, filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging violations of his employee rights. The worker claims unpaid overtime.

The plaintiff contends he was appointed to the position of a department manager, and he worked in two locations from July 2012 through April 2013. He claims he was misclassified as an exempt worker because, despite his title of a department manager, his duties included no managerial tasks. According to court documents, he was not involved in supervising, hiring or firing of employees, and none of his duties required him to make decisions or use independent, meaningful discretion.

The plaintiff asserts that his tasks typically involved manual labor such as cleaning, unloading merchandise, building displays and folding clothes -- none of which are jobs usually done by department managers. The complaint further alleges that he frequently worked more than 40 hours per week -- with the full knowledge of the defendants. Furthermore, the plaintiff claims he did not even always receive the full 40-hour work week salary that he was owed.

California workers who believe their employee rights are being violated by employers who withhold overtime or normal wages are entitled to take legal action. However, taking on employers may be a daunting prospect, and victims often fear dismissal. No one needs to pursue recovery of unpaid overtime without the help of an experienced employment law attorney. A lawyer can assess the allegations and explain the legal options. If there are grounds for a lawsuit, the lawyer can provide support and guidance along every step of the way.

Source:, "Ex-employee takes Urban Outfitters to federal court over alleged unpaid overtime", Adrienne Marie Mayfield, Jan. 8, 2018

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