A former Jo-Ann Stores, LLC employee claims in a proposed class action that the fabric and craft supplies retailer has violated several tenets of California’s Labor Code.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant’s “key holder” and “assistant manager” workers were not provided with all owed wages, labor code-compliant meal and rest breaks, accurate itemized wage statements, proper overtime pay, reimbursement of cell phone expenses, or timely wages upon termination.
The plaintiff, who worked for Jo-Ann Stores as a key holder between October 2018 and April 2019, says his job duties included opening and closing stores, handling operational procedures, assisting store management, scheduling, inventory, and customer service.
According to the suit, the defendant’s policy during the plaintiff’s tenure was to round non-exempt employees’ clock-in and clock-out times “in a manner that resulted in a loss of time worked.” As a result, employees were “consistently underpaid” and forced to work off the clock without proper compensation, the case claims.
The plaintiff further alleges that key holder and assistant manager employees were often denied proper meal and rest breaks due to the demands of their positions. In particular, the plaintiff says he was interrupted from taking a full 30-minute meal break or 10-minute rest period “at least several times per month.” Per the complaint, the defendant automatically deducted time for breaks regardless of whether employees were able to take them.
Under the California Labor Code, Jo-Ann Stores was obligated to provide an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break for every five hours worked and a 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked, or major fraction thereof, the lawsuit argues. In lieu of each proper break, employees must be paid one hour of compensation at their regular rate, the case says. The plaintiff claims Jo-Ann Stores willfully failed to provide compliant breaks or compensation in lieu of such.
The case, which has been removed from state court to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, looks to represent the following proposed class:
“All persons who are employed or have been employed by Defendants in the state of California and who are/were not classified as ‘Exempt’ or primarily employed in executive, professional, or administrative capacities and who occupied positions of ‘key holder,’ ‘assistant manager’ and similar positions within four (4) years prior to the date this lawsuit is filed (‘liability period’) until resolution of this lawsuit (collectively referred to as the ‘Class’ and/or ‘Class Members’).”
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