Rite Aid Corp. has agreed to pay $20.9 million to settle Fair Labor Standards Act class claims lodged by assistant store managers across the country who claimed they were wrongfully classified as overtime-exempt. The proposed settlement is an omnibus settlement that marks the end of several years of dogged litigation – literally coast to coast from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. Steve Larson, a shareholder at Stoll Berne, represented Donna Garcia from Bend, Oregon, who served as the plaintiff in the suit on behalf of the Oregon assistant store managers filed in the federal district court of Oregon.
The lawyers for the assistant store managers obtained final approval of the settlement on January 7, 2013, by a federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Rite Aid’s headquarters are in Pennsylvania. As part of the settlement, the claims in 14 other lawsuits filed in state and federal courts across the country alleging Rite Aid failed to pay its assistant store managers time-and-a-half overtime pay will be dismissed.
Under the terms of the settlement, Rite Aid will pay $20.9 million to a nationwide settlement class of assistant store managers. The settlement resulted after over eight months of mediation. The settlement class consists of about 4,016 members nationwide, each of whom will likely receive an average of $1,800.
The complaints alleged that assistant store managers were wrongfully classified as exempt from overtime pay because they performed work that required little skill and no capital investment, and their primary duties didn’t include managing either an assigned store or any department or subdivision thereof. Rite Aid denied liability. Rite Aid no longer classifies assistant store managers at its stores as exempt from overtime pay.
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains, operating approximately 4,700 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia.