Lids store managers say parent companies owe them for unpaid overtime: Class action

By Scott Holland | May 26, 2017

A group of Lids store managers have filed a federal class action complaint against the hat retailer’s parent companies, alleging they were not properly compensated for overtime work.

Melissa Chen, who managed a Lids in Chicago from November 2015 to January 2016, and Dario Salas, who managed a New York Lids from January 2011 to September 2015, filed their complaint May 19 against Genesco, Inc., and Hat World, Inc. Each say they worked up to 50 hours a week as store managers, yet were never paid for more than 40 hours. Genesco, based in Nashville, acquired Hat World, based in Indianapolis, in 2004. Hat World owns and operates the Lids Sports Group segment of Genesco’s retail operations, including roughly 1,300 stores branded as Lids, Lids Locker Room and Clubhouse and Locker Room by Lids.

According to the complaint, Lids misclassified its store managers as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and failed to record work hours of putative class members.

Chen and Salas report they spent the majority of their time working as store managers on tasks common to workers who are not exempt from minimum wage laws, such as “making sales to customers on the sales floor, working on cash registers, unpacking and stocking merchandise, embroidering merchandise for customers and cleaning the store.”

Lids store managers, they stated, are not charged with “hiring, firing, making recommendations for hiring, firing, or other employment decisions, scheduling or disciplining other employees. … (Their) primary job duties did not include the exercise of discretion or independent judgment regarding matters of significance.”

The complaint includes an Illinois class, covering alleged violations of the Illinois Minimum Wage Law for at least 40 individuals, as well as a New York class, also of at least 40, for alleged violations of New York State Department of Labor Regulations.

Under the Illinois law, Chen said class members would be entitled to recover all overtime compensation, prejudgment interest, 2 percent interest per month, statutory penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs.

The New York allegations include failure to provide wage notice, under which class members would be entitled to statutory penalties of $50 for each work day, up to $5,000, and failure to provide accurate wage statements, which carries a penalty of $250 per day, up to $5,000.

The complaint stated the statute of limitations for the state claims was tolled by agreement of the parties from Nov. 18, 2016, through Jan. 17, 2017.

In addition to class certification and a jury trial, Chen and Salas want Lids to be compelled to issue unpaid overtime and an equal amount as liquidated damages as well as “reasonable incentive awards for plaintiffs to compensate them for the time they spent attempting to recover wages for the FLSA Collective and Class Members, and for the risks they took in doing so.”

Representing the plaintiffs in the matter are the New York and Chicago offices of Outten & Golden LLP, as well as Shavitz Law Group, P.A., of Boca Raton, Fla.

A representative of Genesco did not return a request for comment.

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Organizations in this Story

Hat World Inc. Outten & Golden Shavitz Law Group

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