Ten former Queens, New York H Mart employees claim in a proposed collective and class action that they and other workers were required to put in more than 40 hours per week without being paid proper overtime wages.
The 33-page case more specifically claims that the Korean-American supermarket chain’s employees at times received a COVID-19 differential and other types of premium pay when they worked certain hours yet were paid the same amount of overtime wages as when they worked regular shifts. According to the case, defendants H Mart Bayside, LLC; H Mart Companies, Inc.; and H Mart, Inc. failed to pay the workers one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for the weekly hours they worked in excess of 40.
The lawsuit further alleges that H Mart failed to provide accurate and complete wage statements, and owes workers unpaid uniform maintenance pay and spread-of-hours premiums in accordance with the New York Labor Law (NYLL).
According to the suit, H Mart’s conduct was “intentional, willful, in bad faith, and caused significant damages to Plaintiffs (and all similarly situated employees).”
Per the case, the plaintiffs, whose employment with the defendants ended around November 2021, and other H Mart employees received a $2.00 COVID differential in addition to their hourly rate between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. At times, the workers also received differential pay referred to as “premium pay,” the suit says. Despite earning additional wages, the workers were not paid additional overtime whenever they worked more than 40 hours during a week in which they earned the differential pay, the lawsuit says. Thus, H Mart violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law’s requirement that workers be paid one-and-one-half times their regular pay rate for overtime hours, the case alleges.
The suit goes on to claim that H Mart further violated the NYLL by failing to pay employees an additional hour of compensation at the minimum wage rate whenever their spread of hours exceeded 10.
Further, although workers were required to wear uniforms, the defendants did not launder or offer to launder the uniforms, and failed to reimburse employees for the cost of maintaining uniforms, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone who was employed by any or all of the H Mart defendants within the past three years. Also proposed is a class of anyone who was employed by the defendants in New York at any time within the past six years and until judgment is entered in the case.
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