December 26, 2013

Class-Action Suit Accuses TJX Of Violating Wage Laws

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Two former assistant managers of Marshalls stores have filed suit against TJX Cos. alleging that the Framingham-based retail giant violated federal and state wage and hour laws.

According to a suit, filed in Massachusetts District Court Dec. 11, Celina Roberts of Texas and Anthony Sciotto of New York, TJX and its entities violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by "engaging in a systematic scheme of failing to compensate (Sciotto and Roberts) and similarly situated employees for their statutorily required overtime pay."

The suit, filed as class action for New York workers, claims Sciotto was scheduled or required to work more than 40 hours a week, wasn't paid overtime, or at all, for those extra hours, and that the company didn't keep accurate records of his hours worked. Sciotto said he was required to work at least 50 hours per week and often asked to work nearly 70 hours weekly, while Roberts said she typically worked 60 to 70 hours per week and often needed to come in six or seven days per week.

The suit alleges the forced overtime without pay is commonplace at stores owned by TJX, and that upper management dissuaded employees from asking questions about overtime pay. Well over half of the assistant store managers' time was spent performing duties typically expected of hourly employees, according to the lawsuit.

"Rather than increase staff or hours worked by non-exempt employees in order to assure the proper functioning of a store, upper management required assistant store managers to work longer hours and fulfill tasks expected of hourly employees," the suit alleged. "As a result, assistant store managers have worked excessive amounts of overtime hours in order to perform the duties of hourly positions."

A TJX spokeswoman said Thursday that the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The plaintiffs have requested that TJX be required to turn over a list of all assistant managers nationwide employed between 2011 and the present.

The plaintiffs have also asked for court to compensate them for unpaid overtime hours worked as well as an injunction barring TJX from requiring assistant store managers to work more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay.


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