According to a preliminary approval order, former employees of Polo Ralph Lauren’s California stores have agreed to settle a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit for $4 million.
In 2006, Corinne Phipps and other former employees filed the lawsuit on behalf of all former sales associates, customer service representatives and cashiers who had worked at any California Polo retail store or factory outlet from May 2002 to January 2010.
The workers claimed store managers violated California’s labor laws by failing to pay them for time spent while they were locked in the store for 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each shift. During that time, managers searched employees’ bags and belongings for stolen merchandise as part of the company’s loss-prevention policy.
About 6,700 potential class members could each receive almost $600 each. Three named plaintiffs will receive an additional $20,000 each, and 25 class members will receive $500 each for time they spent testifying.
Polo Ralph Lauren denied any wrongdoing or liability.