From New Jersey district court comes a proposed class action lawsuit in which two former Lowe’s managers claim the home improvement retailer failed to pay wages for off-the-clock work.
According to the 20-page complaint, defendants Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC regularly require department managers, service managers, and support managers to perform off-the-clock work before and after their shifts and during their one-hour unpaid meal breaks. The two plaintiffs, who respectively worked at two of the defendants’ New Jersey locations, say their managerial responsibilities included performing a perimeter check of the store upon arriving, unlocking the doors, disarming the security system, letting in other coworkers, and finally logging into the Kronos timekeeping system on a desktop computer to clock in for their shifts. All of these tasks, according to the case, went unpaid as they were performed before managers could clock in for their shifts.
Similarly, managers responsible for closing shifts were required to clock out before arming the security system, locking the doors, and retrieving any loose carts and flatbeds in the parking lot, the case says. The plaintiffs claim these pre- and post-shift tasks often resulted in 10 to 15 minutes of unpaid work per shift.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that Lowe’s managers were also required to read and respond to messages through the GroupMe smartphone app during their unpaid meal breaks and while they were off duty. According to the suit, the “substantial time” managers spent answering work-related smartphone messages added to their already substantial amount of unpaid, off-the-clock work and caused their weekly hours to exceed 40.
The lawsuit alleges that proposed class members—hourly-paid managers who worked at any of the defendants’ New Jersey retail locations within the past six years—are owed unpaid overtime wages for off-the-clock work.