Old Chicago Pizza &Taproom has been hit with a class action lawsuit by Assistant Managers for unpaid overtime.The overtime lawsuit, filed in Colorado Federal Court, alleges that the company misclassified the assistant mangers as exempt employees and failed to pay them overtime for hours worked over forty per workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and theColorado Wage and Hour Law.
The assistant managers who regularly worked 60-65 hours per week, claim their primary job duties did not differ from the duties of the company’s non-exempt hourly paid employees.The primary job duties of the assistant managers stayed the same across all OldChicago locations and included customer service, food and drink preparation, and cleaning. Their positions, though managerial in name, contained no primarily managerial responsibilities. The lawsuit claims this assignment of primary responsibilities signifies that the assistant managers should have been classified as non-exempt and paid overtimes hours.
The Fair Labor Standards Act and Colorado Wage and Hour Law require that employees be paid at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly rate for all hours exceeding forty per work week, unless they are “exempt” from the overtime requirement. In order to be exempt from the overtime requirement, the duties of a given employee must be of high-level responsibility. The manual labor duties of the Old Chicago assistant managers do not classify as high-level responsibility and require no independent discretion or judgement. Therefore, according to the suit, they should have been classified as non-exempt.
Additionally, the lawsuit cited a company-wide practice where Old Chicago intentionally failed to provide adequate labor budgets to their restaurants. The hours of non-exempt hourly employees were deducted from the labor budgets, but the restaurant failed to provide the amount of funds needed for the hourly employees to complete all the required tasks for the restaurant. In an attempt to save money on overtime, the restaurant assigned these tasks to the assistant managers, who did not receive overtime due to their misclassified status as exempt. As a result of this practice, the assistant managers were regularly working more than forty hours per workweek.