A class of more than 400 current and former managers at Gristede’s grocery stores won summary judgment in federal court on claims that the New York City chain violated the Fair Labor Standards Act () by treating them as both salaried and hourly employees.
The court found that Gristede’s habitually docked managers’ pay when their hours fell short of a full workweek. But it also routinely denied them overtime for any hours worked beyond the full-time week. That violates the FLSA.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Linda Neilan, said, “What Gristede’s forced upon employees was a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ arrangement. We are pleased that the court saw through this scheme.”
The court also found that Gristede’s retaliated against two managers by filing meritless counterclaims—filings the court said were “so flimsy that they must have been made for another purpose: to punish the individual plaintiffs for joining the FLSA suit and having the temerity to name certain Gristede’s officers.”
Damages have not yet been awarded, but the plaintiffs seek $25 million.