On September 19, 2014, The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denied an attempt by Avis to appeal the certification of a class of shift managers who were denied overtime pay by Avis. Like the frequent use of so-called independent contractor status to deny overtime, employers also play games with titles, giving employees “manager” titles, even though those employees don’t have any real managerial responsibility, in order to avoid paying them overtime and require them to work excessive hours week in and week out.
We certainly don’t know what the result of the Avis suit is going to be, but we’re pleased that the Court certified the class and has not fallen for Avis’ effort to delay the litigation through the use of an interlocutory appeal process.
The Fair Labor Standards Act was written with a specific purpose, to protect employees from wage and hour abuses committed by employers. The frequency with which employers continue to willfully and deliberately violate the statute is disturbing. Employers, like people, are obligated to follow the law. An employer who cannot run its business in such a way as to comply with wage and hour laws, should not be in business. Employees should not have to pay the price for an employer’s greed or an employer’s inability to utilize an appropriate business model that conforms with the requirements of the law.
As trial lawyers, we fight every day to protect the rights of working people, including the right to earn the wages that our State and Federal laws require employers to pay. Employers are more and more attempting to find “loopholes” in the laws in order to avoid paying workers a fair wage. The right of everyday people to access the justice system to address wage and hour violations is fundamental and one that we will continue to fight to protect.