BJ’s Wholesale Club and the representatives of a class of BJ’s Wholesale employees reportedly informed a federal court in Massachusetts earlier this month that they had reached a settlement agreement on the employees’ claims that BJ’s failed to pay them overtime. The class of BJ’s employees included loss prevention managers, asset protection managers, and personnel managers. The lawsuit alleged that BJ’s misclassified these managers as exempt from overtime. As a result of this misclassification, the employees had often worked more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay.
In addition to claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the lawsuit also alleged violations of various state laws, including Maine’s wage and hour laws. The court still must approve the settlement but, if it does, it appears as though BJ’s employees in Maine will receive a share of the $2.7 million.
This settlement illustrates that employers do not have the final say on which employees are and are not entitled to overtime pay. Generally speaking, all employees are entitled to overtime pay unless their employer can show that they fit into one or more well-defined exemptions. If you believe that your employer has misclassified you as an exempt employee, who is not entitled to overtime pay, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.