Assistant managers of Sheetz have sued the company claiming it illegally misclassified Assistant Managers throughout the country as “exempt” and failed to pay them overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Sheetz Inc. owns and operates over 500 restaurants and gas stations throughout the nation. In 2015, Sheetz was ranked 56th on the Forbes Magazine list of the largest private companies, with annual sales in excess of $6 billion dollars. According to the assistant managers, Sheets paid all of its assistant managers a flat weekly salary “exempt from overtime” even though the assistant managers regularly worked “approximately 50 to 55 hours per week during each week in which they worked more than five shifts. Sheetz classified all [assistant managers] and other similarly situated current and former employees holding comparable positions but different titles, as exempt from coverage of the overtime provisions of the FLSA and Pennsylvania law.”
United States Department of Labor rules provide that “employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees” can be exempt from being paid overtime wages. “To quality for exemption,” the Department of Labor states, “employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements” under the FLSA. According to the Department of Labor, an employee may be exempt if his or her primary job duties are tasks like “interviewing, selecting, and training of employees; setting and adjusting their rates of pay and hours of work; directing the work of employees; maintaining production or sales records for use in supervision or control; appraising employees’ productivity and efficiency for the purpose of recommending promotions or other changes in status; handling employee complaints and grievances; and disciplining employees.”
The assistant managers claim that they did not perform management duties or otherwise exercise “meaningful independent judgment and discretion” at their jobs. Instead, they claim assistant managers at Sheetz spent their time “working the cash registers, making deli sandwiches, stocking shelves, cleaning the store, assisting customers, unpacking merchandise, and other manual tasks.” According to the Complaint, Sheetz purposely “did not provide sufficient money in the labor budgets to cover all hours needed to complete necessary manual and non-exempt tasks in each store. The underfunding of store labor budgets resulted in Assistant Managers (who were not paid overtime) working more than 40 hours in a workweek without any additional overtime compensation, which allowed Sheetz to avoid paying additional wages (including overtime) to the non-exempt, store-level employees.”
The Complaint was filed in Pennsylvania in September 2017.