Barnes & Noble Facing National Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit

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Los Angeles, CA: An unpaid overtime class action lawsuit pending against bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N) Inc, is seeking nationwide certification. The lawsuit was filed by the company' assistant store managers who allege they were misclassified as exempt from overtime and that their primary role was not to supervise other employees but rather to provide customer service. The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for a nationwide class.

The motion is seeking class certification of New York assistant managers who worked at B&N between January 25, 2007, and July 2010 and conditional certification under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for a nationwide class. B&N reclassified the assistant store manager position in June 2010.

According to the plaintiffs, B&N assistant store manager positions are misclassified as exempt under state and federal law. Specifically, while some managerial work is required, assistant store managers have been "primarily engaged in the same routine tasks as hourly employees."Those tasks include helping customers find merchandise, working cash registers, stocking shelves and helping out in the store's cafe area, the class certification motion states.

According to the complaint, B&N assistant store managers spent between 75 percent to 90 percent of their time completing the same types of "hourly duties"that other employees were required to perform. Further, the plaintiffs claim that the work required of assistant store managers was governed by B&N's nationwide policy, making the case ripe for class certification. "At B&N, all ASMs are required to follow closely circumscribed corporate policies and rules established by their store manager,"the motion said. "These policies are implemented across the B&N brand and ASMs are prohibited from deviating from these guidelines."

The case Steven Trimmer et al. v. Barnes & Noble Inc. et al., case number 1:13-cv-00579, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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