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Rite Aid settles overtime pay lawsuits
June 20th, 2012
CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. has reached a settlement with assistant store managers and co-managers in class-action lawsuits regarding overtime pay.
Rite Aid said late Tuesday that the company and its subsidiaries have settled 15 wage and hour collective and class-action suits that involve the alleged misclassification of the drug chain's salaried assistant store managers and co-managers and seek overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
Under the terms of the settlement, subject to court approval, Rite Aid has agreed to pay up to $20.9 million to resolve the allegations and, the company stated, "avoid further distraction from litigation that has been ongoing for the past four years."
According to Rite Aid, the settlement amount resolves claims for damages dating back as far as 2002 for some of the settlement class members and covers more than 6,000 current and former employees.
Plaintiffs in the suits claimed that overtime pay was required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law. Rite Aid said it believes its previous classification of assistant managers and co-managers as exempt employees complies with state and federal law, and the company denies any wrongdoing in the global settlement.
The settlement has been presented to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and preliminarily approved, Rite Aid reported.
According to the retailer, the plaintiffs and Rite Aid believe the settlement "represents a fair, reasonable and adequate resolution" of cases challenging the company's designation of assistant store managers and co-managers as exempt.
"This is an excellent result for the present and former Rite Aid assistant managers and co-managers who will benefit from it because the settlement will provide a definite and sure recovery long before any possible payment could be achieved through continued litigation," Seth Lesser, lead plaintiffs' counsel, said in a statement. "The settlement, if approved, will avoid the possibility of adverse rulings or even no recovery at all."