The U.S. District Court, for the Northern District of New York, conditionally certified a collective action brought by Aldi Store Managers alleging the grocery chain misclassified them as exempt employees under the FLSA, in Griffin et al. v. Aldi Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00354. Faruqi & Faruqi, as co-lead counsel, represents the Plaintiffs and a class of similarly-situated current and former Store Managers employed by Aldi. Innessa Melamed heads the litigation on behalf of Faruqi & Faruqi.
Aldi Store Managers are often forced to work 60 to 75 hours per week without receiving overtime pay because Aldi maintains that they are exempt under the FLSA. Store Managers spend up to 90% of their time performing manual labor tasks that are identical to those performed by non-exempt employees, such as stocking shelves and operating the cash register. Moreover, they lack any discretion, authority or control over Aldi’s operations which could qualify them as exempt employees. For example, Store Managers have no authority to hire, fire, promote, discipline, or even access the personnel files of the employees they supposedly supervise. Aldi’s centralized handbook and other corporate documents show that these critical management functions are reserved solely for District Managers, who micromanage every aspect of store operations.
Judge Andrew Baxter found that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that they are similarly-situated to all other Aldi Store Managers because they were all victims of Aldi’s common, nationwide policy, plan and scheme to violate the FLSA. Turning to Plaintiffs’ depositions, declarations submitted by Aldi Store Managers across the country, and Aldi’s own corporate documents, Judge Baxter found that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that Aldi Store Managers are improperly classified as exempt while spending the majority of their work day performing non-exempt duties. The Court granted Plaintiffs’ request for conditional certification of a collective action and approved Plaintiffs’ proposed Notice to be sent to all members of the collective.
About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP focuses on complex civil litigation, including securities, antitrust, employment law, wage and hour, and consumer class actions as well as shareholder derivative and merger and transactional litigation. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in California, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous high-profile cases which ultimately provided significant recoveries to investors, consumers and employees.
About Innessa Melamed
Innessa Melamed is a Partner at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP’s New York office and focuses her practice on employment law and wage and hour class action litigation.
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