Large home improvement chain faces country-wide lawsuit

The recent certification of a national class for a lawsuit against a major tool, material and hardware chain may have added momentum to the legal action.

The suit, which claims that the defendant misclassified human resources managers as exempt and salaried workers instead of hourly employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, could grow to include more than the 1,750 previous and current workers already participating, according to Human Resource Executive. The dispute stems from the wages staff members claimed they missed by working more than 40 hours a week during certain pay periods.

Because the classifications for exempt employees under the FLSA require the employer to prove somewhat discrete concepts - like workers making decisions based on independent judgment for the administrative designation - it may prove difficult for the defendant to prove that all members of the lawsuit's class were excepted from overtime pay.

Two major concepts can aid businesses looking to avoid being involved in this sort of worker dispute. Discussion with a legal counsel over proper employee classification is usually a good idea when there is any confusion over exemption status, while the use of employee management software helps to accurately track hours worked and pay distributed.

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