A federal putative class action filed Monday in Trenton against JoS. A. Bank claims the men’s clothing chain failed to pay regular and overtime wages to at least 160 staff tailors.
The tailors regularly worked more than 40 hours a week, but were not compensated properly, according to the complaint in Raygorodsky v. JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., 13-cv-251.
The company allegedly was aware of its obligation to pay regular wages multiplied by time and a half for hours worked in excess of 40 a week under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and corresponding state laws.
But the plaintiffs worked “at least 5-10 hours of overtime each week for which Defendants intentionally only paid them a portion of the actual hours they worked and intentionally did not pay them for any overtime hours they worked,” they allege.
They claim that instead, JoS. A. Bank “ensured that the payroll records and pay stubs … reflected either 40 hours per week or less.”
Also named as a defendant is Joseph Rullo, a regional manager in charge of 15 stores, who allegedly urged store managers to decline payment of overtime. Rullo oversees payroll, and endorses and issues paychecks, according to the complaint.
The lead plaintiff, Arkady Raygorodsky, was employed as a tailor in the Hamilton store in Mercer County for about two years beginning in June 2009, where he earned $17 an hour.
Raygorodsky alleged that he generally was required to work Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., though he often had to work until 8 p.m. or later, on Sundays and during his lunch hour “in order to meet unreasonable deadlines set by Defendants.”
His pay stubs accurately reflected his wage but not the number of hours worked, for which he complained to the company’s human resources department numerous times, the plaintiffs allege.
In addition, he allegedly spoke to other JoS. A. Bank tailors frequently, who told him they experienced the same problem collecting overtime pay.
Raygorodsky was fired because of his complaints — which Rullo confirmed to him in a telephone conversation, the plaintiffs allege.
The plaintiffs seek class certification on behalf of those formerly or currently employed by JoS. A. Bank who were not fairly compensated under the FLSA, as well as certification of a New Jersey subclass.
The suit alleges violation of the FLSA, a corresponding regulation and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law. It also asserts common-law claims of breach of contract and quantum meruit.
Raygorodsky asserts an individual retaliation claim under the FLSA and state law based on his termination.
The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages; liquidated damages, punitive damages and attorney fees under the FLSA; and other relief.
The matter has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp and U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne Bongiovanni, both in Trenton.
Robert Wisniewski, who represents the plaintiffs and heads a New York firm, declines comment.
As of Wednesday, no defense counsel for JoS. A. Bank was identified in electronic court documents on PACER.
JoS. A. Bank general counsel Charles Frazier declines comment through an assistant.
The Hampstead, Md.-based company, founded in 1905, has locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia, and last month announced the opening of its 600th store, in Miami.
The company also is defending a putative class action in New Jersey federal court alleging that it fraudulently advertises sale prices based on fictitious regular prices.
Thus, merchandise is perpetually “on sale,” though patrons actually are paying the normal retail prices rather than a discounted price, according to the plaintiffs, who claim violations of the state Consumer Fraud Act and other causes of action.
Currently pending in that case are defense motions to strike the class allegations and dismiss the suit based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted.
Edward Deutsch of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter in Morristown, who represents JoS. A. Bank in that suit, did not return a call.