Lord & Taylor, LLC has been hit with a lawsuit in which a former sales associate claims she and other shoe department sales employees are owed unpaid wages stemming from overtime-compensable hours and reduced commission payments.
Lord & Taylor, LLC has been hit with a proposed collective and class action in which a former sales associate claims she and other shoe department sales employees are owed unpaid wages. Among the allegations are claims that Lord & Taylor has paid straight-time wages for overtime-compensable hours, failed to compensate employees for all hours worked, and taken improper deductions from commissions.
The plaintiff, who worked at the defendant’s Eastchester store in Scarsdale, New York, alleges that she was paid only straight-time wages for overtime hours worked each week for which she should have been paid at the statutory time-and-a-half rate. Further, the plaintiff claims she and other sales associates were often asked to work additional hours beyond their scheduled shifts, and sometimes through lunch, without compensation. This uncompensated work time, the suit says, often caused the plaintiff’s weekly hours to exceed 40.
Moreover, as part of the plaintiff's duties, the case says, she was required to spend an hour in the stockroom each day performing “stock work” before working on the sales floor, which frequently caused her to accrue more unpaid overtime and reduced her commissions, as she was not using the time to make sales.
The lawsuit then sticks on Lord & Taylor’s allegedly unlawful practices with regard to returned merchandise. Under the store’s commission program, the case explains, only “identified returns” – returns for which a sales associate was identified on the receipt – could be deducted from employees’ commissions. According to the case, the retailer improperly deducted from the plaintiff’s commissions returns that were not attributed to her by:
Deducting commissions when the plaintiff assisted in processing a return, even though she was not the associate who originally sold the merchandise;
Ignoring computer processing codes implemented within the past two years that were designed to indicate the associate who handled the return was not the associate who made the sale, and deducting commissions from the wrong associate; and
Using a “sliding scale” method to assign a higher percentage of online purchases and returns to top-performing associates and thereby applying unlawful deductions to their commissions.
Lastly, the case claims the plaintiff’s commissions were further reduced via time for which she was “clocked in” but did not perform any work. For example, the suit explains, if the plaintiff assisted a customer in deciding on shoes and the customer returned to purchase the shoes on a day the plaintiff wasn’t working, the woman’s identification number would be entered into the system and would effectively clock her in. The result, according to the lawsuit, was that this time would count against her commissions even though she wasn’t working.