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Burlington Stores Reaches $11 Million Settlement Over Unpaid Overtime Wages

Burlington Stores settled a class action lawsuit late last month over unpaid overtime wages.

According to a Sept. 21 filing in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, the off-price retailer must pay $11 million to resolve overtime claims of 1,715 current and former Burlington assistant store managers. The filing added that the average gross settlement for each person would be $6,414.

Burlington denied wrongdoing in the agreement, which is pending federal court approval, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit, first filed in February by Kim Payton-Fernandez, a former assistant manager at a Burlington store in Stratford, Conn. from August 2013 to October 2020, alleged that the off-price chain misclassified assistant store managers as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires companies to pay time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40, prior to the spring of 2021.

In the initial complaint, Payton-Fernandez claimed she regularly worked 50 to 55 hours per week without receiving overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week.

The plaintiff argued that she should not have been classified as exempt from overtime pay due to her job requiring her to do non-exempt work, such as stocking shelves, working the cash register, taking out garbage, unloading freight, building displays, cleaning, folding and hanging clothes, and customer service.

“The primary job duties of plaintiff and the members of the collective did not materially differ from the duties of defendants’ non-exempt hourly paid employees, which included many duties that were manual and non-exempt in nature,” the complaint said.

The filing went on to claim that Burlington knew that the assistant store managers were performing primarily manual labor and non-exempt duties. “Defendants knew that plaintiff and other similarly situated employees were performing the work of non-exempt employees and, based on their actual job duties, plaintiff and similarly situated employees did not fall under any exemptions under the FLSA,” the suit added.

This settlement follows a similar case involving Burlington. In July 2020, the off-price retailer agreed to pay $19.6 million to resolve two lawsuits that claimed it short-changed employees. The settlement ended a nine-year court fight.

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