Les Schwab accused of misclassifying workers

Posted on: November 25th, 2013 by Steve Larson
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Blog Wage and HourA class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Les Schwab Tire Centers for allegedly violating Washington State wage and hour laws.  Plaintiffs accuse Les Schwab, a retail tire chain, of intentionally misclassifying a significant portion of its workforce as managers in order to avoid paying overtime.

The complaint was filed on behalf of all assistant managers employed by Les Schwab in Washington from November 6, 2010 to the present who were misclassified as exempt employees and not paid commensurate overtime wages pursuant to applicable labor law.  Employees who work more than 40 hours a week, according to Washington State’s wage and hour laws, are entitled to overtime pay at the statutory rate. 

Plaintiffs argue that Les Schwab’s “assistant manager” title is a “misnomer” and, consequently, Les Schwab is not protected by the overtime pay exception for Washington workers “employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity.”  The complaint also claims that “assistant managers’ primary duties did not constitute the management of the Les Schwab business or require the exercise of discretionary powers.” 

Effective January 1, 2013, Les Schwab suspended its policy of classifying its Assistant Managers as exempt, but did not pay alleged earned overtime to any of those Washington assistant managers.