A proposed class action suit against Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. accuses the retailer of making unlawful deductions from workers’ wages and failing to pay proper wages for pre- and post-shift work.
A number of Home Depot employees continue to work after a store closes, upon which its doors are automatically locked, the suit explains. In order to leave for the day, the case says, workers are required to clock out first and then find a manager to unlock the door and let them leave. The plaintiff says that Home Depot stops paying when workers clock out and argues that proposed class members should be paid for the time between when they first clock out and when they physically leave the building.
Further, workers were allegedly pressured into donating portions of their paychecks to “The Homer Fund,” a fund run by Home Depot and designed to help employees going through hardships like those stemming from injury or natural disaster. Home Depot, the lawsuit says, appoints “Community Captains” who are paid to encourage participation in the fund. These Community Captains, the lawsuit alleges, “heavily pressure” employees into signing forms that authorize recurring donations to the fund from their paychecks. The suit contends that these practices are coercive and amount to unlawful wage deduction.
Lastly, the case says Home Depot failed to give its workers 10-minute rest breaks as required under Washington law for shifts of four hours or more.
The suit proposes to cover three subclasses, which may include all hourly employees of Home Depot in Washington, who within three years of the suit’s filing in 2016 either:
“Had money deducted from their paychecks to ‘The Homer Fund’” AND/OR
“Worked at least one shift that ended after the store closed to the public” AND/OR
“Worked at least one shift of five hours in the district in which… [lead] plaintiff worked”
The suit seeks approximately $9 million in damages and lost wages, and an order for Home Depot to cease the allegedly wrongful conduct laid out in the complaint.
The lawsuit was originally filed in Superior Court of the State of Washington and has since been removed to the state’s Western District.