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Kroger accused of misclassifying workers to not pay them overtime

Many California readers may have frequented or be familiar with Kroger when they need to pick up some groceries. A group of three recruiters who work for a Kroger call center in another state allege that they were denied overtime because they were misclassified. The class action lawsuit against the grocery chain has been filed in a federal court.

The recruiters in the call center are reportedly classified as being exempt. This prevents the workers from receiving overtime and other associated benefits in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards act. The plaintiffs claim that they regularly worked more than 40 hours a week but were not receiving overtime because of their exempt status.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs believe that they have been misclassified intentionally so that Kroger would not have to pay them overtime. Any past and present Kroger recruiters are able to opt into the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are seeking damages, legal fees and compensation for their unpaid overtime and hourly wages.

Just because some California workers are classified as exempt does not mean that the company is correct. In an attempt to lower payroll and other benefit costs, some employers may give workers this classification intentionally. Individuals who believe they are incorrectly identified as exempt may consider consulting with an employment attorney to review their cases and determine if there is a viable claim. Going forward with such a complaint may result in the claimants receiving the overtime and other redress they believe they are owed as well as possibly having the entire affected class reclassified.

Source: wcpo.com, "Lawsuit: Kroger owes its recruiters pay for overtime hours worked", Pat LaFleur, Feb. 10, 2016

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