The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC faces a proposed class action in which a former employee claims she and other workers were paid less than minimum wage due to the company’s failure to provide reimbursement for the cost of maintaining required work uniforms.
The lawsuit, which was recently removed from New York County Supreme Court to the state’s Southern District Court, claims Stop & Shop violated the New York Labor Law by requiring employees to wear uniforms without offering to launder them or reimbursing workers for the cost of maintaining the apparel.
The plaintiff, who worked for the defendant between May 2014 and January 2020, says she was required to, and did, wear a uniform that consisted of a shirt, apron and hat displaying Stop & Shop’s logo during every shift. Per the case, uniforms were issued to employees “for the express benefit of” Stop & Shop and were required to be cleaned and worn as a condition of employment.
The plaintiff says the defendant never laundered or offered to launder the uniforms, and did not pay uniform maintenance costs or reimburse workers for the time and money they spent laundering and maintaining Stop & Shop’s uniforms. Because the plaintiff and other workers were paid at or near the hourly minimum, the costs of maintaining their uniforms cut into their wages and sometimes caused them to fall below the minimum wage, according to the suit.
The lawsuit argues that Stop & Shop’s improper compensation policies, which the plaintiff says were continuous throughout her employment, have deprived workers of proper wages in violation of the New York Labor Law.
The plaintiff looks to represent all former and current employees who, at any time since November 9, 2014 and the conclusion of the case, worked for the defendant in New York and were required to wear uniforms as a condition of employment and were not offered or provided laundering services or provided uniform maintenance pay or reimbursement.
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