In December 2008, the 11th Circuit affirmed a jury verdict against Family Dollar in the amount of $54,000,000. That award paid store managers who were misclassified as “executives” and their attorneys. Family Dollar classified them as “executives” despite the fact that the vast majority of their time was spent performing non-management tasks like stocking shelves and cashiering. The jury found that these employees were entitled to overtime pay and the 11th circuit agreed. Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc.
Rather than reclassify the position, Family Dollar continued its exempt status. More lawsuits followed, but most of them were consolidated into Family Dollar’s home state of North Carolina via the federal courts MDL (multi district litigation) procedures. In that court (which is in the 4th circuit) Family Dollar has been having success at getting the store managers’ claims dismissed.
Some plaintiffs have avoided the 4th Circuit by suing in state court. Presently, there are class action lawsuits in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Colorado. The court in Missouri recently granted class certification. The court in Connecticut is about to rule on pending motions.
Anyone employed at Family Dollar as a Store Manager who is working excessive hours and not being paid for overtime should not give up. Just because one judge in the 4th Circuit is denying claims, does not mean that you are without a forum. Bring your claim in state court and ask that judge to follow Morgan. Good luck!