Drug Store Chain Pays Heavily for FLSA Violations

A drug store chain recently agreed to a $23 million class-action settlement and learned some expensive lessons about the FLSA and state wage-and-hour laws.

In the lawsuit, Wilson v. Walgreens Co., filed in California District Court, Walgreens Co. faced a large class of workers:  all non-exempt and store manager employees in California. The claims dated back to May 13, 2008. Here are some of the alleged timekeeping and related violations against Walgreens:

  • Employees were required to remain at work for mandatory security checks of their persons and belongings, without compensation.
  • The employer made employees start work or continue working without pay.
  • Off-the-clock activities included driving to other stores and opening and closing the pharmacy.
  • Employees were not reimbursed for business expenses (e.g., business-related travel, meetings, and training).
  • The employer consistently did not provide or pay for meal and rest periods or pay overtime and double overtime for work on the seventh day in a row, as required under state law.

Three words that an attorney defending an employer on a wage-and-hour case does not want to hear are “off the clock.” This case points out that FLSA compliance is no easy matter, and the avenues for complaint are readily available. Cutting corners on compensation ultimately costs an employer more than simply following the law. A time and attendance solution should be viewed as a business essential for all employers. Because manual tracking is a challenge, other solutions are available, like fingerprint and biometric time clock technology. For a complete employee time tracking system, please consider TimeForce. For more information, please click here


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