Two Urban Outfitters retail employees have sued the apparel company for allegedly failing to pay them for all hours worked, including overtime, in an effort to conform with compensation budgets.
The lawsuits filed in New Jersey federal court by plaintiffs Alyssa Baccicheti, a department manager from Royal Palm Beach, Florida, and department manager Evan Trapp, of New York City, claimed they were not fully paid for their over-40-hour workweeks at multiple New Jersey store locations.
Urban Outfitters is headquartered in Philadelphia and operates 240 retail stores across the United States. In the two separate but nearly identical complaints, the plaintiffs claimed the retailer’s practices violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Consistent with Defendant’s policy, pattern, and/or practice, plaintiff regularly worked in excess of forty hours per workweek without being paid overtime wages, in violation of the FLSA,” court papers said. “Defendant scheduled plaintiff to work forty hours per week, but plaintiff actually worked an average of more than 45 to 50 hours per week during each week in which he worked five or more shifts.”
Urban Outfitters did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Michael Palitz of Shavitz Law Group in New York City, for Trapp, and Seth Lesser of Klafter, Olsen & Lesser in Rye Brooke, New York, for Baccicheti, did not return calls seeking comment.
Urban Outfitters has not yet filed a response to the lawsuits in court.
The complaints noted that the plaintiffs’ employment required “little skill and no capital investment.” And despite being given the title of department manager, their work did not include “managerial responsibilities, or the exercise of meaningful independent judgment and discretion,” they claimed.
Instead, their duties consisted mostly of folding clothes, cleaning the store, and other manual tasks. The plaintiffs alleged that the companywide policy was to classify department managers as nonexempt.
“The wages for defendant’s store-level employees, including Plaintiff, were deducted from the labor budgets. However, defendant did not provide sufficient money for the labor budgets, causing plaintiff, who was not paid overtime, to work additional hours without compensation so that defendant could avoid paying additional wages to the hourly (non-exempt) store-level employees,” the complaints said. “Defendant did not consider the impact of its small labor budgets on plaintiff’s job duties, including whether these small labor budgets forced Plaintiff to perform manual labor and non-exempt duties due to the limited amount of money available to pay hourly (non-exempt) employees to perform such work.”
P.J. D’Annunzio can be contacted at 215-557-2315 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PJDannunzioTLI.