Last week, a group of ten sales representatives filed a collective action lawsuit against Vector Marketing Corporation, the maker of CUTCO knives, alleging that the company violated wage and hour laws by failing to pay its salespeople for the time they spent at mandatory training programs.
Vector has applied a uniform policy of not paying wages for training time.
The CUTCO sales representatives filed the wage and hour lawsuit in a federal courthouse in California and are represented by the law firms Marlin & Saltzman and the Diversity Law Group.
What are the Allegations?
The lawsuit alleges that Vector required newly hired sales representatives to attend unpaid training programs that lasted between three and five days in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state wage and hour laws.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that requires employers to pay workers a minimum wage, as well as overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. The FLSA generally requires all employers to pay workers for time spent at mandatory training programs, such as Vector’s initial training seminars.
Who Can Participate in the Lawsuit?
The lawsuit seeks to represent all individuals in the United States who sold CUTCO knives and were required to attend some or all of Vector’s mandatory training programs anytime after January 16, 2011. As the case proceeds, CUTCO sales representatives who are potentially affected by the lawsuit may receive a written notice informing them of their right to opt-in and participate in the case.
According to the lawsuit, Vector has applied a “uniform policy of not paying wages for training time to all employees nationwide during the last three years.” The lawsuit states that there may be thousands, if not tens of thousands, of class members in each state who are owed compensation for the time they spent at the company’s training programs.
Vector’s wage and hour practices have been the subject of at least one other lawsuit. That case, Harris v. Vector Marketing Corp., was filed in 2008 and resulted in a settlement for certain CUTCO salespeople who worked in California. The current lawsuit does not cover sales representatives who received a settlement as part of the prior lawsuit.