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2006-05-20
Rochester, NY. Lowe’s Sued Over “Chinese” Overtime

A law firm based in Rochester, New York is handling a class action lawsuit against the second largest home improvement chain store in the world, the Lowe's company of North
Carolina. According to Dolin, Thomas & Solomon, anyone who worked for Lowe's over the last three years "must act quickly to receive any unpaid overtime you might be entitled to." Two groups of current and former Lowe's employees have started class action lawsuits. The lawsuit was brought after a team of attorneys investigated Lowe's practices and concluded that Lowe's systematically failed to pay proper overtime to its employees. Workers who were considered hourly employees of Lowe's must meet three requirements to join the lawsuit: 1) you worked for Lowe's sometime in the last three years in any position; 2) you were not paid overtime when you worked more than 40 hours in a week; 3) you received incentive pay (incentives, commissions, bonuses, SPIFFS, SOS, credit card incentives, etc.). Workers who were on a "salary plus overtime" basis also are covered by both lawsuits. The lawsuit claims that Lowe's made improper deductions from the weekly salaries of salaried plus overtime employees, which means that such employees are entitled to a premium of time and one-half for overtime hours. According to the law firm, "Companies don't pay overtime properly to save money. They expect they can get away with it. Faced with the high cost of labor and overtime, companies try to squeeze as much money out of overtime costs as possible. One example of this at Lowe's is Lowe's practice of paying a number of employees on a "Chinese Overtime" basis. A number of Lowe's employees have told us they always thought there was something wrong with the way Lowe's paid overtime. Some companies who violate the law count that if they can hide the violation and not make it too obvious to employees, by the time a lawsuit starts, they can save themselves more money than a lawsuit will cost. But, as the Department of Labor regulations make clear, that does not make the practice legal." The plaintiffs claim that "weekly, large number of current and former Lowe's employees from around the country have been joining the lawsuit." The lawyer say that "Lowe's has a large, nationwide problem of not paying employees their overtime." The attorneys handling this case have estimated the damages in this case to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

What you can do: The lawyers handling this class action lawsuit say that the 3 primary goals in this class action are to: 1) Prohibit Lowe's from engaging in conduct illegal under the overtime laws. 2) Have Lowe's set aside money to properly pay overtime in the future. 3) Recover unpaid overtime and other damages for employees who were not properly paid overtime. For more background, go to www.lowesclassaction.com.










 
 
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